Celebrate music in schools

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March is designated as “Music in Our Schools Month” by The National Association for Music Education.
The purpose is to acknowledge the role music plays in the lives of children as they progress through the public school experience, and how music education has a life-changing impact.
This year’s theme is “Music Lasts a Lifetime.”
The Twin County-Galax region rightly boasts a rich musical heritage. It is vital that not only does our community continue to support music in our civic functions, but through our educational institutions.
Skills developed through musical experience may be enjoyed throughout one’s entire life, as the current motto states.
Embracing such enriching experiences for our children will provide them with opportunities for success and enjoyment from elementary school through the balance of the student’s life.
The pursuit of success in music education is continuously elevated. Now, more than ever, the achievement of our student populations is subject to higher standards.
Early and sustained student involvement in musical programs is essential to acquiring skills, meeting said standards, and attaining success in both music-based and non-music-based study.
The national association cites several institutions of research that confirm:
Students with four years or more of arts and music study scored 29 points higher on reading, 22 points higher on math and 29 points higher on writing sections of the SAT College Board test.
Arts-based learning is known to promote collaboration, creative problem-solving, and the ability to apply learning across different disciplines.
Schools with music programs have higher graduation rates than those without programs — 90.2 percent, as compared to 72.9 percent.
It is essential that arts education, especially music education, remains a vital part of our school curriculum.
As a music educator, I invite the community to play an active role in promoting local arts programs in every way possible.
Take the time to ask your child, or any child, how music in school is important to them, and I challenge you to take the steps to contribute to the success of these programs.
Scott A. Smith
Band Director/Elementary Music Specialist
Fries School
Grayson County Public Schools