LA VETA- La Veta elementary school had its annual spring concert last week, with the theme of Earth Day. Kindergarten through fourth grade performed the vocal selections of the evening, which had a central theme, “Our Planet Earth,” and was all about enjoying the planet and caring for the earth.
The children expressed that they have great concern for their environment and the music helped them to understand why that is important. Interviews with the children revealed that every child had a favorite song for a very personal reason. Some of them learned more about recycling or not polluting the earth. Others liked that they were given special speaking or singing parts. They also liked that Mrs. Vietti asked them for ideas on how to act out the words to the songs.
Some said that being in the music program helped them to work together as a group, learn confidence, and get over their stage fright. As second grader Alex Mondragon said, “The program was great. Never be shy because your parents are watching you and they will always think you are great.”
Fifth and sixth grade band members played a separate set of selections, and were also interviewed about what music education means to them, and where they would like to see it go after sixth grade. The answers were compelling. They all asked to be quoted in the Huerfano Journal, but we can only do so for a few.
Sixth grader Jazmine Striegel believes strongly that music education has helped her improve her math scores. She has been challenged to succeed by participating in Solo and Ensemble and performing as a featured soloist at the spring concert. She likes that music gives her something to do in the summer, because she keeps playing her flute year round. She very much wants to go into a band program next year. First place science fair winner, Carlos Nunez has done considerable research on music and the brain and says, “It increases brain activity by firing up more of your brain and stimulating many areas of the brain, making you a smarter person.”
Logan Taggart thinks test scores at the secondary level would improve by adding music into the curriculum, but he says that will be hard to do because “La Veta focuses too much on sports instead of the performing arts.”
Samantha Bowman, who also participated in Solo and Ensemble agrees that music is very important and appreciates the opportunity to learn an instrument, adding, “That is something that most people don’t get to do.”
Aaron Gomez loves the fun of band and would like to have classes next year in junior high vocal, orchestra and band. He is sure there are lots of students that need an excellent opportunity to develop their skills as musicians.
Devon Jenkins, says “You have just touched the surface at the elementary level. There is so much more variety of music to study and all kinds of percussion and folk instruments to learn. We just have to get in a music appreciation class. I want to know a lot about many different composers, from Bach to rock.”
All students agreed that if a seventh hour class was added to next year’s schedule, it would be a way for them to continue to have music education at their school, and without it, they are missing a lot of learning.