Like many other people, I greatly enjoy music. It can inspire and motivate us, it can help us focus on a task, or make an imagined world come to life. How often do we hum a song or jingle we heard on the radio for days; or when we see the name of a movie, we instantly hear the theme song in our heads. Iconic themes like the music from “Jaws” or “Star Wars” are integral parts of our society, even if you aren’t a fan of the movies they are from.
As a kid, music was a big part of my education. At first it was just a class that we all took, but once I started middle school I joined the band and began making music daily. I must admit I no longer make music, but the influences of my musical education still play a huge role in my life.
We have all heard that as school budgets get tighter, more and more schools are forced to end arts and music education; and as a former art and music kid, I am always worried when I hear that.
Art and music have benefits far beyond helping us keep rhythm. It’s been shown that music can help improve language development, and can be used to help kids ingrain important lessons into their minds. In fact, studies have even shown that having a music classes in school can improve test scores regardless of socioeconomic factors.
In short, music can help kids succeed in school.
At our Leaven programs, we’ve seen the benefits of art and music. Not only do these fun activities help our students feel excited to come and learn every day, but they are also great tools for helping to teach students life and classroom lessons. From simple songs like our A, B Cs, to coloring a Valentine for our service members, integrating art and music into our tutoring programs has proven beneficial again and again.
Leaven programs are different from other afterschool tutoring programs because of our balanced approach. We don’t just study, we sing, draw, play and explore. We use our minds, hearts and bodies to learn so that our lessons don’t go in one ear and out the other, but stay with Leaven kids long after they graduate from our programs.
It’s just one more way we’re helping kids and communities rise.