February 28, 2012
As we proceed through another excellent year of music at Windsor Middle School, we write to thank you for encouraging your child to study music! We also write to ask you to become actively involved in your child’s choice of an elective for next year. We firmly believe that children of this age still need a great deal of guidance from their parents when making such important decisions.
Students only get one choice for an elective in middle school and being in one of Windsor Middle School’s award winning ensembles is definitely the best way that your child can spend their time. First of all, they will be in a class with the best and brightest students in the school. (Music students outperform non-music students in grade point average and scores on standardized tests at Windsor Middle School.)Secondly, our music classes teach all of the same fundamental academic and organizational skills that the other electives do, and much, much more. Creativity and teamwork are two areas in which the music ensembles excel past the other “elective” choices. Finally, continued participation in a performing ensemble will allow students to develop academically, artistically and socially and will help to prepare students for 21st Century jobs. Seventh and eighth grade students are in a prime time for brain development and learning; they are more able to pick up skills at this age than they will be when they are a few years older. Sadly, the popular culture of Windsor Middle School and peer pressure sometimes steers students towards classes or activities that they perceive to be less rigorous. There is more research supporting the value of music education than all of the other elective choices combined.
We know from the vast amounts of research that has been done that studying music helps increase scores on standardized tests, increases IQ scores, helps to develop math skills and spatial reasoning, develops self-esteem, helps to develop coordination and helps students to become successful in all other areas of the curriculum. With elements of language, math, science, art, social studies and physical education, music is the most cross-curricular subject taught at Windsor Middle School. As former President Clinton said, “I don’t think I could have become President if it wasn’t for music. Music is about communication, creativity, and cooperation, and by studying music in school, students have the opportunity to build on these skills, enrich their lives and experience the world from a new perspective.”
We have many exciting experiences planned for our 2nd and 3d year musicians. In addition to our Winter and Spring Concerts, students will participate in the Analy Fall Festival, and the Sonoma Jump Start at the Cazadero Performing Arts Camp is a favorite every year.
We look forward to another exciting year for the music students at Windsor Middle School. We believe that participating in music ensembles creates intelligent, sensitive, creative and hard working “team players” that will be a benefit to society ultimately. Thanks again for encouraging your child to study music this year, and for helping them to decide that music is the best choice for their elective for next year!!
With Warmest Regards
Karen VanDeventer Stephen Mitchell