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PSPA Spotlight: Music

Music Makes PSPA Sing

Read all about it!  Obtain the .pdf for this Spotlight on Music Programming at PSPA

From its practical role in skill development to its soothing emotional ability, music has something to offer everyone. That’s why it’s a valuable and treasured part of the curriculum at Pine Springs Prep Academy.

Available as an elective, the music department offers many opportunities for students to grow personally as they explore music in the classroom and through performance opportunities.

“Music brings my students together in order to create something beautiful and fun!” says Jennifer Calderale, a first-year elementary music teacher. “My class is all about inclusion and allowing everyone to be involved, no matter what background a student has when it comes to music.”

In addition to being flat-out fun, music provides practitioners with a variety of emotional and mental benefits which can be incredibly instrumental for young minds.

Logan Vanover, who is in his sixth year of teaching and second year at PSPA, explains that learning how to play an instrument in an ensemble setting strengthens many cognitive functions, including spatial reasoning, temporal awareness, listening skills, and hierarchical data organization.

“Music helps the body and mind to work together,” says Mr. Vanover. “Playing, singing, or just listening to music gives the brain a multisensory workout that can strengthen memory, help with focus, and even help with reading comprehension. Students that practice music during their school day also help improve their fine motor skills and auditory listening skills.”

Two standouts from the PSPA music program are 8th grader Alyssa Morton and 5th grader Sterling Hyer. Inspired by her mother who was a flutist, Alyssa also plays the flute and enjoys learning how to play music from her favorite movies. Sterling loves all things musical and frequently volunteers to play piano for the class.

Alyssa and Sterling are just two examples of the many students who are benefitting from PSPA’s music program.

“The music department at PSPA encourages community,” says Ms. Calderale. “I believe that anyone can play and enjoy music no matter what experience they may or may not possess. Music is a language we can all learn at any point in our lives.”

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” John Keaton, Dead Poets Society While the projects are student-driven, guidelines are put in place to help ensure progress and accountability. For instance, project calendars are shared with students so they know deadlines, and pre-planned checkpoints allow teachers to be involved at regular intervals. These checkpoints also offer students multiple opportunities to show what they have learned. Modifications are made as appropriate to ensure that all students have the same opportunities throughout the project.

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