21st Century Skills


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Students learn to convey ideas and emotions through musical performance; in doing so they develop a greater awareness of nuance, complexity, structure, emphasis, and theme, which can enhance verbal and written communication skills.

I started out in 5th grade, like almost every 5th grader does, and even though I was young and just a beginner, I loved the idea of being part of an ensemble and doing what I love the most. Through middle school, I began to learn different things, such as duple rhythms, scales, concert pitches, and basic tuning. In 8th grade, I joined my high school marching band as an "8th grade leader," and I was no longer that shy girl who had never really said a word to anyone. I really came out of my shell, made so many friends in marching band, and learned how much music really meant to me.

Last year, as a freshman in high school, it was a little nerve–wracking being in high school not knowing exactly what to expect. After the first semester, I eventually got into the swing of things and really started to begin understanding more about how music applies to my everyday life.

I have a student who joined color guard/marching band and choir in our high school music program. He has grown to be a leader in both activities and has come to recognize his self worth. If he had not joined the music program, he would not have had the opportunity to express himself creatively, nor would he have had the opportunity to step into leadership roles.

I grew up in a small town, with about 60 people in my graduating class. Throughout my entire academic career, music has always been the central focus of my school interest. It taught me how to be creative, to work with others, and to have a voice where I thought that I had none. In my small town, the prospects of success were not high, and the focus on student development as a person wasn't there. The influence of music classes in my life made all the difference to my world, and it makes all the difference to others.