Updated: Jan 23
School is notorious for being a dark, exhausting, and generally negative environment. While that is true to some, I believe one of the lights at the end of the hallway is linked to our music program (s).
I've participated in both Rialto High Schools’ Band and Madrigals (an advanced choir) and know how much fun they are. Both of these programs have greatly aided me in becoming a more social and self-assured individual.
In Band, I’ve had the opportunity to learn different instruments and explore my interests in an open and welcoming environment that I would not have had otherwise. I've met many people I consider friends as a result of these classes, and I've been able to do things I never thought I'd be able to do.
Last year, for example, the Madrigals competed against several other schools at a competition. Despite the fact that our group was considered "small," we were mighty. We entered the competition with "Jitterbug" and "Only Have Eyes For You," and won both the competition and Best Choir overall. Before heading home, we stopped by Portos and talked with each other about the experience and exchanged photos celebrating our experience.
This was one of the highlights of my year because I was doing what I love with others who love it just as much and having a good time.
Not only do these music programs provide personal and social benefits, but they also provide numerous academic benefits. Improvements in academic performance, social skill development, and overall language development are just a few examples.
In my experience, before I began to participate in music programs, my academic performance was rather mediocre. However, as I progressed through school and continued to participate in our school's music programs, I discovered that my academic performance had greatly improved.
USC neuroscientists investigated the impact of music instruction on children's social, emotional, and cognitive development in a study. Children who had received music education had more developed auditory pathways than children who had not received music education, which can aid in language and reading skills. The study found that music instruction accelerates the development and efficiency of the auditory pathway in the brain.
Music education not only improves auditory pathways, which are necessary for communication, language, and reading skills, but it also aids memorization.
Music fosters memorization, which is essential in all other academic areas of life. Students must memorize lyrics as well as all other aspects of the song such as rhythm, pitches, dynamics, and many other aspects of music when learning a song. The skills gained from learning and participating in music programs can be applied to all other subjects.
Music also aids in the development of social skills.
Whether a song has lyrics or not, collaboration among the students is required when learning it. For instance, the students in our choir class at Rialto High School had to really collaborate to get our pitch, dynamics, and rhythm just right when learning songs for competition. We would talk about how to sing our parts properly and practice together. Most importantly, we discovered how to function as a team with other students and how to more effectively communicate our needs. The education and practice I've received working with others in our band and choir classes, in my opinion, have improved my social skills and made me a more outgoing person.
Overall, I believe our school's music programs provide a positive environment for students to do what they enjoy, make friends, and grow mentally and academically.