Extra Ed Makes Music for the World to Hear
“Music enhances the education of our children by helping them to make connections and broadening the depth with which they think and feel. If we are to hope for a society of culturally literate people, music must be a vital part of our children’s education.” – Yo-Yo Ma
From Greek philosophers to the great minds of the Renaissance; to some of the most renowned intellects of the modern day, it is agreed that music is essential to a holistic education. Our music programs seek to build musicianship while addressing the emotional, social, and academic needs of students. Using their instrument (voice, guitar, ukulele, etc.), coupled with a communal learning environment, students are challenged to learn new skill sets with a deeper understanding of how to achieve their own success. An understanding which will propel students into the world around them.
“Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them – a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music.” – Gerald Ford
We understand that learning an instrument requires patience, diligence, and practice. These can all be better cultivated through a curriculum designed by students – for students. As a former private music instructor, I have experienced firsthand the shortcomings of an outdated curriculum. Music is a constantly evolving artform, therefore its pedagogy must evolve too. Thus, the shift from classic scale/workbook song to personally catered and more accessible popular song. We also understand that not all students will continue their musical training to a professional level. Therefore, our main goal is not to train the next Mozart by means of technical proficiency, but rather inspire students to remain lifelong learners through musicality.
“Elemental music is never just music. It’s bound up with movement, dance and speech, and so it is a form of music in which one must participate, in which one is involved not as a listener but as a co-performer.” – Carl Orff
Our programs are best understood through the lens of music’s basic building blocks: rhythm, harmony, and melody. The instrument (voice, guitar, ukulele, etc.) is the vehicle we use to explore the building blocks which make up music’s beautiful playground. Whether we are exploring using chord shapes and progressions in our guitar/ukulele programs, or movement and dance in our sing-along programs; students are constantly developing a wide set of skills ranging from memorization, motor skills, self-confidence, and performance. This development is compounded by an individual’s volition, which is why the curriculum is catered to each classroom. Rather than teach these through classic methodology, we opt to use popular music chosen by the students. Further endorsed through communal learning, students now perform with and for their peers using music they have elected.
“With music, one’s whole future life is brightened. This is such a treasure in life that it helps us over many troubles and difficulties. Music is nourishment, a comforting elixir. Music multiplies all that is beautiful and of value in life.” – Zoltan Kodaly
The value of music outside of the classroom is of paramount importance. That is why we are driven to connect students to music that has significance in their lives, and a means to explore those riches with an understanding that is all their own. In doing so, we foster a love for music and the arts that lasts an entire lifetime.