Florence 1 Schools celebrates ‘Music in Our Schools Month’
“As a teacher, you want to instill in your students a lifetime joy of music.” That is what Laura Greenway, Florence 1 Schools Performing Arts Coordinator, said regarding March’s ‘Music in Our Schools’ Month. Laura said it takes hard work and great teachers to make this possible and that fine arts keep students engaged in school. Florence 1 Schools wants to make the fine arts a safe zone for students to express their creativity. The number one reason students get involved in music is to perform.
Athletics and music are very similar. Not everyone can play football, just like not every can play the trumpet. However, they both teach great values like time management, teamwork, and social skills. Music also teaches students math and history.
Recently Magnolia Mall played host to a three-day event showcasing bands, choirs, and dancers. This year marked the 26th year that the Magnolia Mall as hosted the event and in that time thousands of students have participated and shown their support for the arts.
How can the fine arts further help students? These are ten key reasons why arts in education are important:
1. Creativity. The arts allow kids to express themselves better than math or science.
2. Improved academic performance. The arts don’t just develop a child’s creativity, the skills they learn because of them spill over into academic achievement.
3. Motor skills. This applies mostly to younger kids who do art or play an instrument. Simple things like holding a paintbrush and scribbling with a crayon are an important element to developing a child’s fine motor skills.
4. Confidence. While mastering a subject certainly builds a student’s confidence, there is something special about participating in the arts. Getting up on a stage and singing gives kids a chance to step outside their comfort zone. As they improve and see their own progress, their self-confidence will continue to grow.
5. Visual learning. Especially for young kids, drawing, painting, and sculpting in art class help develop visual-spatial skills.
6. Decision making. The arts strengthen problem solving and critical thinking skills. How do I express this feeling through my dance? How should I play this character? Learning how to make choices and decisions will certainly carry over into their education and other parts of life, as this is certainly a valuable skill in adulthood.
7. Perseverance. The arts can be challenging. After practicing hard, children learn that hard work and perseverance pay off. This mindset will certainly matter as they grow, especially during their career where they will likely be asked to continually develop new skills and work through difficult projects.
8. Focus. As you persevere through painting or singing or learning a part in a play, focus is imperative. And certainly focus is vital for studying and learning in class as well as doing a job later in life.
9. Collaboration. Many of the arts such as band, choir, and theater require kids to work together. They must share responsibility and compromise to achieve their common goal. Kids learn that their contribution to the group is integral to its success—even if they don’t have the solo or lead role.
10. Accountability. Just like collaboration, kids in the arts learn that they are accountable for their contributions to the group. If they drop the ball or mess up, they realize that it’s important to take responsibility for what they did. Mistakes are a part of life, and learning to accept them, fix them, and move on will serve kids well as they grow older.
For the last five years, Florence School District One has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.
To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Florence School District One answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.
Like American pianist Frances Clark said, “there is music in every child. The teacher’s job is to find it and nurture it”.