Spend time in the hallways of our school and you will observe (rather, hear) a recurring scene. During scheduled “brain breaks” between classes, students often pause their studies and pickup - not a game on an iPad - but instruments! The addition of our new building has afforded us convenient, close space for students to play one of the readily available instruments. I joked with teachers this week that it feels like a “Guitar Center” in our halls, as students thrash beats, pluck chords, thump bass lines, and somehow manage to pull of vocal harmonies on top of it all!
What comes off as cacophony is, for me, something beautiful. Music is a key component to our creative arts education at the Academy. There are abundant studies (I’ve included a very introductory article below) that show the benefit of learning music to improving linguistic, cognitive, spatial, and mathematical development. Learning an instrument is also a social tool, as students learn to apply their own ability in the context of a larger, group effort. And, of utmost importance, playing music together can be a powerful spiritual expression, an outlet to creatively express kids’ devotion to God.
The next time your child comes home stomping their foot or humming a tune, know that something special is happening. They are developing a skill that will follow them beyond post-secondary education and into adulthood, capable of creating, problem-solving, interacting, and expressing - all thanks to learning to make music.