Sunday, November 30, 2014

Starting a Music School

Over the last three years, I have been attempting to start a music school. I have witnessed multiple talents in the children that teach. Because of their enthusiasm and the benefits of enrichment, I would like to give them an opportunity to develop more talent within them. Therefore, I have posted a project on the Kickstarter website to raise money to publish and market a book about my experiences in teaching these students.

Whenever budgets are cut in education, the arts and music programs are usually curtailed first. This is unfortunate because art and music activities help the students to express their emotions. Music is considered a learning style and students can learn very valuable skills while partaking in a music education. Christopher Johnson of the University of Kansas “revealed that students in elementary schools with superior music education programs scored around 22 percent higher in English and 20 percent higher in math scores on standardized tests, compared to schools with low-quality music programs regardless of socioeconomic disparities…..”

However Christopher Johnson is not the only one who believes this theory that music helps to increase a child’s education. Merri Williams, a music educator and owner of Masterworks Studio in Decatur, Georgia noted Catherine Applefeld Olson’s findings in her report, “Music Testing Success Crosses Ethnic Lines” (p 20), that “first-of-its-kind standardized test in Florida which reveals that among music, reading, writing, and math, music is the only subject in which students have an equal chance to succeed regardless of ethnicity.”

Jennifer Ward, a best-selling children's book writer says, "Literacy is the key that opens the door to a life of learning, "Literacy comes in many forms: verbal, cognitive, written, visual, numerical, reading, technological. The higher the literacy level one can achieve, the higher the probability for one to fulfill personal potential."

From these findings, it is clear that the arts and music programs, but particularly the music programs, can benefit children immensely by helping them to acquire the skills necessary to succeed in college and in the workplace. Unfortunately, it is costly to offer a music program in the schools. Today, the construction costs in building and equipping a music room totals well over $350,000.00. Many of the public schools in the major cities cannot afford to provide updated books, computers, and other school supplies, let alone a music room. As a result, gifted and talented children may not have access to music instruction, particularly if their families cannot afford private instruction.

It is for this reason that I would like to establish a music school where children can participate in after school enrichment programs which will supplement their learning in the schools. My first step will be to get the book published and then to begin fundraising to purchase a building for the school. I would appreciate your support in this effort.

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