Among many designations March is also know as ‘Music in our Schools Month’ (MIOSM).
It’s been a busy month for the St. James Schools, music programs. The month began with the 7th and 8th grade and high school vocal concerts which were held at the Armstrong Auditorium on March 5.
The choir activities are continuing with the large group choir rehearsals at GHEC High School.
On Monday the Instrumental Music Department just held its Spring Concert. The hour and one half program was performed at the Armstrong Auditorium. St. James students between 8th grade and 12th played before family, friends, teachers and community members.
Students who performed solos were Megan Lahti, Ashley Lahti, Michaela Nordby, Cassidy Chapek, Connor Engel, Bethany Carlson and Alejandra Trapero.
Julia Boeve and Liz Reckow preformed a xylophone duet.
Singers in one of the concert band performances were Callie Coleman, Shelby Haseman, Clare Lepp and MacKenzie Miest.
Student recognition noted in the concert program Boeve and Reckow for a March 14 ensemble contest and 18 concert band students who received 18 superior ratings and five excellent ratings.
A contest on March 7, saw seven superior and three excellent ratings for varsity band students.
Since 1985, March has been filled with sound as ‘Music in our Schools Month’ is celebrated around the nation. Sponsored by the National Association for Music Education, the event focuses the nation’s attention on the need for and benefits of quality music education programs.
Northside Principal Karla Beck said this about music, “Music and all arts in our schools is not just important; it is imperative.
“Early education in music actually wires the brain for learning, particularly in spatial and mathematical content. “Research also proves that students who are involved in the arts both stay in secondary school and score higher on college entrance exams and other assessments.”
Principal Beck’s comments are reaffirmed by the Children’s Music Workshop. Some of the benefits of music education are:
Early musical training helps develop brain areas involved in language and reasoning. Recent studies have clearly indicated that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can actually wire the brain's circuits in specific ways. There is also a causal link between music and spatial intelligence (the ability to perceive the world accurately and to form mental pictures of things).
Page 2 of 2 - Students of the arts learn to think creatively and to solve problems by imagining various solutions, rejecting outdated rules and assumptions.
Recent studies show that students who study the arts are more successful on standardized tests such as the SAT. They also achieve higher grades in high school.
A study of the arts provides children with an internal glimpse of other cultures and teaches them to be empathetic towards the people of these cultures.
In music, a mistake is a mistake; the instrument is in tune or not, the notes are well played or not, the entrance is made or not. It is only by much hard work that a successful performance is possible. Through music study, students learn the value of sustained effort to achieve excellence and the concrete rewards of hard work.
Music study enhances teamwork skills and discipline. In order for an orchestra to sound good, all players must work together harmoniously towards a single goal, the performance, and must commit to learning music, attending rehearsals, and practicing.
Music provides children with a means of self-expression. Self-esteem is a by-product of this self-expression.
Music study develops skills that are necessary in the workplace. It focuses on ‘doing’, as opposed to observing, and teaches students how to perform, literally, anywhere in the world. Employers are looking for multi-dimensional workers with the sort of flexible and supple intellects that music education helps to create as described above.