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MIT piano drop strikes wrong chord

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April 28, 2008

RE "A high note falls," (City & Region, April 25): Is the sense of entitlement at MIT so entrenched that the enrolled geniuses think dropping a piano from a dormitory roof is justifiable - as opposed to donating it to an area school?

Perhaps these all too bright masters of the SATs are unaware of how many school music departments have seen their budgets drastically cut or eliminated these days.

Rather than providing free alleged news coverage by lying in pieces on the sidewalk, that piano might instead have provided genuine pleasure and creativity at a local school's music room.

Now that would have been bright.

JOE NOWLAN
Boston

WORDS CAN barely describe the insulting nature of this tradition at MIT, from its statement on the value of musical instruments, to its larger social implications about the value of music as a cherished art. In Massachusetts alone, music programs are struggling with ever-increasing challenges in funding and a baby grand piano would be a welcome addition to most, if not all, music programs across the state.

According to a 2003 Gallup survey, 95 percent of Americans believe that music is a key component in a child's well-rounded education, yet each year funding decreases and support is threatened by standardized educational curricula and accountability models. But fear not, MIT students have committed to this worthy cause, and, as it turns out, MIT officials sanctioned this ludicrous frivolity.

MIT's published mission statement refers to itself as an institution that "seeks to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind."

By participating and sanctioning this display of vulgarity, the MIT community has miserably failed on all accounts.

KEVIN C. MARSHALL
Scituate

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