The ‘musical minute’: Is C-G going down the tubes?


This year there have been some new sights and sounds around Cary-Grove. The sounds namely being the new bell system that was installed over the summer and that seems to be playing the Mario Brothers theme song incessantly.

“Our [old] speaker system that does all of the bells and the sound system […] was very outdated, so one of the things we got this summer as an upgrade was our new sound system and speaker system,” said Mrs. Saffert, who holds the responsibility of the bell system.

As for the the musical minute, it was a concept that was requested for quite some time now. Clubs, like Friends of Rachel, have been asking to play music between passing periods, especially during special times like Acceptance Week.

“We’ve never had the capability of doing it,” Mrs. Saffert said. “The other thing is, Crystal Lake South, for at least the past 18 years, have always had a musical minute. [They have it] hooked up to Star 105.5, so there were a lot of teachers and students that knew about the musical minute. So when we were getting this new speaker system, a lot of people asked me [if we] could do that. I brought it to the administration team and the majority voted ‘yes.’”  From there, the musical minute was created.

As for what actually gets played, “at the moment, what we have playing is one of our [Cary-Grove] band CDs,” Mrs. Saffert said. “I’m in the process of [getting] a list of fun, acceptance-type, feel-good songs that I’m investigating [and] making sure they’re appropriate. Then, we’ll have someone burn them onto a CD so that we can get some more fun songs and have some [variety].”

So why all the Mario? Well, the way the system works is it really is just a CD that constantly plays, and it’s somewhat unpredictable what gets broadcast.

“Whenever [the minute bell rings], it turns on [through the speaker] and then it turns off when that minute is done and it just keeps playing behind the scenes,” Mrs. Saffert said.

Though the beginning of the year held some troubleshooting issues, it seems like most of the kinks have been worked out with the new system.

“Some days it was really loud and somedays it was really soft, and with the national anthem and all that, we went through a period where it was really hard to hear,” Mrs. Saffert said. “We finally got a new boombox that has the right hookup, so now people can hear it.”

Though a few of the speakers in the school still aren’t working properly, they’ll be fixed soon, Mrs. Saffert said, and for the most part everything has smoothed over. Still, Mrs. Saffert said she wants to know what students think.

“I’d be curious to hear from the students whether they would rather just have us go back to a bell, or whether they like it.”