So often, we see headlines that link music education to success for kids- the connection between music and high-achieving math students is quite frequently reported on, and there are lists upon lists of the high-achievers from Hollywood to Wall Street who fondly recall playing clarinet concertos or credit their trumpet lessons with teaching them discipline. So what is it about music that everyone is after? While certainly, the benefits are numerous, we think it goes far beyond discipline and math. Music provides kids (and kids at heart) with an opportunity to explore creativity within a structure- young musicians learn how to make sound as musicians before them have made sound, and as they become more experienced, they learn to play with those sounds, manipulate them, make them their own.
People who research media literacy often write about the importance of being able to find and evaluate information, understand and manipulate information, and make and produce information. Music provides an amazing template to engage in each of those practices! Students are first immersed in music others have made- they learn to figure out what kinds of sounds they hear, identify instruments, and place sound patterns. As they take in the musical world around them, students learn to make sense of musical patterns and manipulate them- and they do so by playing them! Many PSR students learn to play their favorite kid tunes on the xylophone, and family bands sometimes reproduce their favorite car-trip show tunes. Working with and making music from familiar songs allows students to understand the role music plays in their daily life, and ties their learning to what they already care about. Finally, as kids learn to play- and sometimes even write and record- music, they engage in sound-based storytelling. These kinds of muscial production experiences are valuable for children's creative souls- and they also serve as critical experiences in making that awaken children's ability to explore, create, produce, and storytell.
So, do we think your kid is going to be a total prodigy because they play the drums? Maybe, maybe not. But we definitely beleive, with every inch of our beings, that the opportunity to play with percussive instruments from all over the world will be an awakening, literacy-rich, creative, magical, focusing opportunity for your child to explore the stories that other have told and the stories that are waiting to be told.
So come on over, we'll play with musical notes. We'll hit some drums. We'll learn to read notes. We'll write sheet music and tap out ryhthyms from Disney or the latest punk rock band or Mozart's symphonies. And it will be awesome.