Teachers stress early introduction to music

Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 09:50 AM.

She described music as a global language.

"It speaks to people from all backgrounds and is a vehicle for communicating when words aren’t enough," she said. "Music gives students the opportunity to be creative and to belong to something much bigger than themselves. Students are constantly collaborating in the music classrooms and have to work as part of a team. Music teaches students discipline and the rewards of hard work."

The area music teachers said learning music early can produce habits that help students with other learning.

"Having the students involved in music early in their education benefits more than just being able to read music, but helps create a sense of commitment at an early age, due to the responsibility of having to know their parts and practice," said Mark Lorek, band teacher at Havelock Middle School. "It also gets students involved in the school, and helps create many friendships that could last all the way through high school."

At Gurganus, Williams has students learn to play recorders and read music in fourth and fifth grade.

"I really want them to be ready to go to the middle school to participate there. That’s really when they learn a lot about music reading," she said. "They learn articulation. They learn tonguing. They learn working together when they are in a group. They learn following a conductor. They learn looking at a piece of music and finding the patterns in it and then being able to play it or sight read it.

"Sixth grade is the beginning grade for band, and the way schedules are set up, if you’re in sixth grade, you decide to be in band or not."

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