When there is music, good things happen

Responsibility, teamwork, social skills, creativity and tolerance are just some of the lessons kids absorb when they study music. Why you should encourage your child to get involved in music (and join in yourself!)

Why learn music?

The answer to that is a little complex because it’s not “just” music. It’s a part of your life, whether you realize it or not.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to become involved, in a peripheral sense, in a musical. This musical was not under my direction, but the direction of Leslie Bricker, a talented and dedicated music educator colleague.

The musical was to have initially involved just the primary grades (Grades 1, 2 and 3). Then it took on a life of its own.

The primary classes participated with the singing and dramatic/dancing portrayals of many scenes.

There were junior students (Grades 4, 5 and 6) who auditioned for and performed leading and supporting roles.

Plus there were intermediate students (Grades 7 and 8) who volunteered and worked with the cast in preparing choreography, stage blocking and singing, not to mention the mammoth job of set design, painting backdrops and assisting in costume preparation and backstage movement.

I find it amazing that all of this music, drama, art, dance and movement stemmed from preparing and presenting a “musical.” When music is placed in a prominent role, good things happen!

They learn to interact with other people, developing social skills far faster than students who don’t participate in music.

Students also learn responsibility through music. They learn the advantage and the satisfaction of teamwork as they work side by side with other people, focused on a specific goal. They learn respect and they learn tolerance. These are important life lessons and they make a

Students need to develop the “territory” under their hats and music is a perfect vehicle. Parents benefit as well by joining the process and learning with their children. The territory under your hat is just waiting to surprise you!

When time comes for back to classes, make sure your student has access to and engages in the music programs in your school. The schools in our district are mandated to provide music instruction.

Become part of the process. Be sure to listen to your child’s progress as he/she does their home practice and cheer them on. An appreciative audience of one is just as important as an audience of many. Let your child provide you with a mini-concert to showcase their progress and feel proud of their accomplishments.

A number of our district schools have teachers who go the extra mile and provide extracurricular music activities. There are concert bands, jazz bands, drama and musicals and so much more provided.

Be sure to check out what’s available in your school. Lend a helping hand where you can and above all, encourage your student to become involved in these activities. They not only learn music and all of the wonderful nuances that make it enjoyable, but they learn interpersonal relationship skills and responsibility, too. Being with a group that truly promotes team-building affords a community spirit that is unparalleled in its benefits.

Encourage and promote involvement in music. It’s an essential part of learning and of life!

Ginger Jacobson is an instrumental music teacher at Broadview Avenue Public School in Ottawa.