March is Music In Our Schools Month; all across the country there are countless musical events and advocacy programs marking this special month, and special subject in the lives of children everywhere. Our area is no exception, with several events planned during the month.
Specifically, Friday and Saturday March 22 and 23, area schools will take part in the 2013 WSMA District Solo and Ensemble/Jazz Festival at Kingsford High School.
Over 300 events will participate from Norway, Iron Mountain, Kingsford, Niagara, Pembine, Gwinn, Westwood, North Dickinson, and West Iron County.
Please watch your newspaper for information on other events upcoming. At Norway, we celebrate Music In Our Schools Month by our grades 5-6 students holding an advocacy contest with posters in our Fine Arts Center halls, and in addition to helping our students prepare for the District Festival, we are also working in partnership with the drama department to rehearse our upcoming musical production. Our elementary students are working on meaningful and uplifting songs to present to nursing homes and senior centers this spring.
Music in the life of a young person is of vital importance to a well-rounded education.
Music helps to develop a thoughtful, creative individual capable of problem-solving skills, collaboration, listening skills, and possessing cultural awareness.
All of these attributes are the cornerstones of the 21st Century Skills in education. In fact, the latest research shows students who continuously take music courses score higher on the verbal portion of the SAT test.
Good school administrators and educators know that music is not just a time that classroom teachers call their "prep period," but it is also the time where spirits are nurtured and lifted, feelings explored, and math, science, social studies and language arts are reinforced.
However, music stands on its own in education. In this day and age, we could certainly use more focus on nurturing the feelings and creative expression of our young people into a positive direction.
Please take a little time this month to explore the many musical offerings in our area, talk to your child about the importance of music in education, and if you have seen music make a difference in your child's life, please let your school administrator know about it.
Music education is truly orchestrating success in our student's lives. If you want to know more about your school's music department, or even how you can help, please contact the music teacher through your school; I know my colleagues and friends in the area school music departments would be happy to speak with you.
So many wonderful things are going on in the music classrooms across the area-stop and visit sometime.
Dawn S. Kranz, BME, MM
Norway-Vulcan Area Schools