This month students, faculty, and other members of the Longy School of Music community were shocked by an e-mail announcing the end of the Cambridge school’s preparatory programs for children (“Longy school to disband nondegree programs,” Metro, March 7). For decades, countless Boston-area children have discovered their musical talents in private lessons, group classes, and ensembles at Longy. With the guidance of superb preparatory faculty, many of these children earned the qualifications necessary for admission for degrees at Longy and other fine schools. After the end of August, the Longy administration will deprive area children of these opportunities.
As we reflect on Longy’s history of music education for children, we marvel at the vision of the founders of and donors to the preparatory programs. How extraordinary the benefit they conferred on generations of young musicians and their families. Whatever the internal difficulties that led to this decision, surely a school with such a distinguished reputation for children’s music education owes its community respectful engagement before making such a momentous change. Otherwise, one cannot help but conclude that it was made without a thought to the vision and intent of Longy’s founders and donors, or to the city whose children it serves.