Music is Vital!
Music. Many people hear that word and think of jamming in their car, singing in the
shower, or how they used to play an instrument back when they walked to school in
the snow, uphill both ways. Some people think of attending a rock concert, a
professional symphony, or those oh-so-catchy commercial songs that seem to never
leave your head just as your head hits the pillow. Music encompasses so much of
our everyday lives without us probably even realizing it. Music is vital; it provides
us with a better brain, better enjoyment, and consequently a better, more enriched life.
You’ve probably heard that music makes you smarter, but does it really? The
College Entrance Examination Board conducted research regarding this topic and
discovered that students who were enrolled in Fine Arts courses performed
significantly higher on the SAT than students who were not enrolled in such courses.
In addition, playing a musical instrument gives a student’s brain a
workout…literally. Check out this TedEd video by Anita Collins:
Music’s impact is blind to age. According to alzfdn.org (Alzheimer's Foundation of
America), “Music has power—especially for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease
and related dementias. And it can spark compelling outcomes even in the very late
stages of the disease. When used appropriately, music can shift mood, manage
stress-induced agitation, stimulate positive interactions, facilitate cognitive function,
and coordinate motor movements.” That’s pretty amazing!
In addition to the awesome brain boosts that music gives, it also provides
individuals with heightened expression, greater creativity, and bonding. Have you
ever turned on that one “touching” song and had soft tears rolling down your
cheeks? Have you ever made up some crazy dance moves to your favorite disco-
fever tune? And remember that one song from high school that you and your
friends would always jam to? Good memories – good times, right! Music really adds
enjoyment to our lives (unless it is the never-ending “This Is the Song That Never Ends").
Besides giving our brain power and heightened enjoyment, music gives our students
and us a better life. With a musical education, students develop life-long skills such
as discipline, teamwork, and responsibility that are applicable to being a good
employee and community member. Professional musicians create music we enjoy
and that music can help carry us through hard things.
Without music, life would be a mistake. May you help others have a better brain,
enjoyment, and life through advocacy of the gift of music.
National Rural Teacher of the Year Finalist
Arizona Rural Schools Association Teacher of the Year
Arizona Education Foundation Ambassador for Excellence
Back to School: 5 Things JHCS Teachers Want Parents to Know... by Mrs. Tatum Bunker, Fourth Grade Teacher
1-It’s okay for kids to fail
One of the “8 Keys of Excellence” that we teach our students is, Failure leads to success. We get it. Parents don’t want kids to fail but did you know, by allowing the opportunity for failure we are allowing students to learn? Through struggle and persistence to overcome difficult tasks, students can learn that they don’t have to get things right the first time. There is plenty to be learned from mistakes and those mistakes drive improvement. Our school is a safe place for children to fail because the teachers and staff support their failures. We’re teaching students how to get back up, learn from their mistakes and try again. At the same time we are helping to instill in your child the lifelong skills of grit and perseverance. As parents you can reinforce your child’s ability to cope with challenges. Encourage learning from failure by asking your family members, “Who had a great failure today? What did you learn from it?”
2-Be involved, stay involved
An involved parent greatly increases the success of students at JHCS. There are several ways you can be involved in your student’s education this year.
o Talk... a lot! Take time to discuss what your students are learning at school. Be sure to ask open-ended questions that elicit deeper conversations.
o Plan to volunteer at the school often. It takes a village to educate a child!
o Check on homework regularly, but please don’t do it for your student! Homework is assigned to reinforce the skills they have learned during the day.
And most importantly-
o Read to and with your child daily. Discuss what your child is reading. Check out the research below to find out more about how important reading is!
3-3.Test results are not the be-all, end-all
While assessments help teachers drive instruction, we believe education is about much more than just a test score. We’re not here just to get your child to pass that end of year assessment. It is good to remember that just because your child scored poorly on an exam does not mean they are not smart. Also, just because they score high, doesn’t mean there is nothing left to learn. Our overall goal is to help every JHCS student enjoy learning and be prepared for the great big world out there
4- Healthy kids are better learners
Nutritious meals sustain your child’s ability to learn far longer than empty calories or an empty stomach. Make sure your child has breakfast every day. Even a piece of toast eaten during the car ride to school is better than a grumbling stomach during math class! Consider what you send with your child for snacks and lunch. Examine how much sleep your child should be getting per night and adjust bedtime routines to accommodate those needs.
o 3-6 year olds need 10-12 hours
o 7-12 year olds need 9-11 hours
o 12-18 year olds need 8-9 hours
5- Be organized & establish a study routine
You probably already know the importance of providing a dedicated place and time for your student to do homework. You may also know to provide a spot to store backpacks, lunchboxes, and homework folders. Did you know there are other good study skills we stress at JHCS?
Studies have shown that students who review information a few minutes before bedtime increase their ability to recall that information later. This is because all learning is “downloaded” into long-term memory during sleep. Does your child need to remember spelling words, math facts, or history content? Consider implementing the JHCS “Bedside 5” in which your student spends the last five minutes before bedtime studying the most important information from the school day. In addition, we encourage you to limit screen time and strongly suggest turning technology off at least an hour before bedtime. Turning of the tech along with a Beside 5 helps primes the brain to first “download” the school day information after your child falls asleep.
We believe JHCS is the best place for your child to be! We are grateful for the associations we have with you, our invested parents and our dedicated students. Here’s to a fabulous school year!