Over the past few weeks, many have discussed the fact that the strings program in the Olentangy Schools is being removed from the daytime curriculum and made an after-school program. Of course, this is concerning to me, even as the President/CEO of a music lessons company that would probably benefit from having the strings program removed from the school system.
However, music lessons and music performing do help students, especially children. There are many studies showing the relationship between music study and increased math skills, better reading ability, high test scores, and other academic statistics. There are also other studies that show music helps confidence, public speaking, reasoning and other more abstract skills. Not everyone can afford private music lessons (even though ours start at $75/mo right now), and continuing this program in the schools is important, even if it is a “pay-to-play” system.
Music is an important part of educating a well-rounded child. Sports and other activities are important, too, and all should be available as options. The social aspects of music at school (band, choir, orchestra) is sometimes what keeps children in music since private lessons usually lack the social aspects. We really try at Prestige to eliminate that with group classes and other activities, but not all students are so fortunate. Sports and sometimes more popular, especially for boys, because there is competition and a social aspects that not every music lessons school provides.
In the coming week and months, I hope that the schools can reach an agreement to keep music of all kinds, including strings, in our schools. If the school cannot afford it and it’s “pay-to-play,” I would support that alternative if necessary. We need to keep the option for music instruction and enjoyment open to all students so that each child has the opportunity to reap its benefits.
If I can provide anyone with further assistance on this matter, please feel free to contact me at 614.764.4000 x801 or SaraMarie.Brenner@PrestigeMusicStudios.com.