The school year is almost over so choirs, bands and orchestras are giving their year end concerts. Some of the great neighbors in Eastern Idaho are the music teachers who work with our students.
It would be impossible to feature all the great music teachers in our area in one report, but I got to spend some time recently attending rehearsals and concerts at Madison High School. Here's what students and teachers say about the value of music in the schools.
"I think it's extremely valuable - I really love it and it's a wonderful part of my day," said ninth grade violin player, Rachel Felt.
Veteran orchestra director, Rick Hansen, put it this way:
"Learning music and learning to appreciate the good things about music , the emotions it causes, and the creativity it inspires, it just gives kids a more well rounded life and a more well rounded education."
"Music can touch you in ways nobody else can or something else can, so being in choir gives me more perspective on how life is and it makes me feel great," Jacob Hammond, choir student, told us.
"Music is about expression and we've had a few discussions in our choir about how we can really show things that we're feeling and how it relates to our life," explained singer Korynn Kidd.
"Not only does it provide musical outlets for the students, it provides life-learning opportunities as well as an opportunity to develop cognitive skills," David Hinck, choir director, said.
Here's what wind ensemble member, Bradley Dickson had to say:
"I think it gives kids a lot of ways to cope. I know the days I miss my music program for various other activities, be it a test or some extracurricular activity, I really feel I'm missing something - part of my day."
Band director, Dan North, summed it up this way:
"Music gives students a chance to practice being human and dealing with all the human emotions and practicing them in a safe environment - you can feel anger, you can feel joy, you can feel happiness and all that in the safe confines of a music performance area. But the real magic of music comes in being creative and taking something that's written on a page, and making it meaningful to yourself in your heart and your brain and all of those emotional things and then presenting it to an audience in a way that the audience can feel the emotions that you've developed, and you've learned as you've worked on that piece of music."