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Posted by karenmerkley on September 8, 2013
Parenting can be a very dynamic task filled with copious amounts of problem solving, care taking, reflection, trial and error and most of all, lots and lots of social modeling. Most desire well-adjusted, positive children who can communicate, cooperate, and create. Certain positive behaviors are difficult for parents to foster alone. Interactions outside of the home with role models, educators, coaches, and peers are just as influential (or sometimes more influential) than parents. Enter the Arts… Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts can provide a rich source for parents to foster positive behaviors and characteristics.
These include but are not limited to: Pride, Focus, Finesse, Passion, Dexterity, Tolerance, Inspiration, Confidence, Commitment, Spatial Acuity, Physical Health, Improved Memory, Collaborative Skills, Healthy Risk-Taking, Problem-Solving Abilities, and Communication Proficiency.
Posted by karenmerkley on August 14, 2013
Much research has been done correlating the study of the Arts (particularly reading music) with higher achievements in academics as well. Students who spend focused time learning musicianship learn to work well with others more easily, gain a greater sense of responsibility, and learn how to apply themselves to something difficult and keep trying until they achieve the results that they want.
Additionally, studies show time and time again that students studying the Arts gain greater academic abilities. This is largely due to some basic mechanics of the human brain. Without going into great detail, the brain is separated into two hemispheres each of which perform different functions. To state it simply, one side is logical, the other is creative. When we study music, however, both side of the brain are activated which, in turn, causes the signals in our brain to go back and forth between the two hemispheres very quickly, building stronger connections. These stronger connections then allow us to access information more quickly. It is sort of like the large wires we use to connect speakers to a sound source, the larger the wire, the more powerful it is. The same is true of music, the more frequently the two hemispheres of a person’s brain communicate back and forth, the more powerful that connection becomes, making it faster and easier for that person to retrieve that information. Further, since the person has accessed both sides of his/her brain so frequently s/he is more able to use both creativity and logic to solve any given problem. Thus, studying the Arts creates higher achievement academically as well as artistically.
Posted by karenmerkley on July 25, 2013
Participating in a musical group leads to intellectual, creative and personal growth. The study of music teaches trustworthiness, respect for self and others, responsibility, fairness, compassion,. and citizenship reinforcing the Character Counts traits we teach as a school. Further, research shows time and again that the study of music leads to greater intellectual abilities both in and out of the music classroom. Music education is an education for life leading to lifelong appreciation and enjoyment of music. Also it simply builds self-confidence and is fun for any age!
Our program provides every 4th-8th grade student the opportunity to learn to participate in an instrumental ensemble. Students may choose to play one of a myriad of instruments and I will do my best to give them the instrument of their choice, but this will be based on availability of instrument and balance of the grade level ensemble as a whole.
Students come to Band/Strings twice a week during their regularly scheduled Specials classes for 45 minutes comprised of one day with like-instrument groups and the other day with whole ensemble classes. (See the schedule here).
Students are expected to bring their instrument, their music, a pencil, and a good attitude to class every day.
We will begin sign-up for Band and Strings classes at Capitol’s Open House on August 1st from 4:30-6pm in the cafeteria, next to the Band Room.
Posted by karenmerkley on July 15, 2013