Stillwater News Press

Letters to the Editor

May 29, 2014

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Importance of music education

Kristi Dickey



To the editor:

The month of May is a busy time of year, especially for those with children in school.

Many of us are attending special celebrations and performances marking the school year’s end. As a parent of daughters in eighth and 12th grades, I attended many concerts and musical performances during this time. I would like to publicly acknowledge the performing arts programs at Stillwater Public Schools. 

After each performance, I walked away impressed with not only the talent displayed by our youth, but the level of professionalism of the directors and the learning community they have established with their students.

Congratulations to high school band director Kevin Zamborsky, who was recently honored with the State Superintendent Award for Arts Excellence Music Educator of the year.

He is representative of the excellent SPS music educators who not only give of their time and talents during the school day, but many evening and weekend hours as well. Stillwater Public Schools recently received the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation’s 2014 Best Community for Music Education award.

SPS was the only school district in Oklahoma and one out of 376 schools in the nation to receive this honor. I feel fortunate that my children have had teachers that value the contribution that music makes to their education.

Research has shown that playing a musical instrument alters the shape and power of the brain, and can even increase IQ by seven points in both children and adults.

Participation in music programs has many other long-term benefits, including increased creativity, memory and mental alertness. Students learn self-discipline, time management, perseverance and leadership. Being a member of a music community builds responsibility and work ethic, while reducing anger, stress, depression and anxiety.

Students build lifelong relationships in these programs, and for some, music is the reason they stay in school.

Thanks to all of you in Stillwater who support the arts by giving of your time, resources, and for attending the performances of our youth. Community support will help these programs continue to flourish in our schools.

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