New program uses music to influence students’ focus, skills
[Tampa, FL] Thanks to a multi-partner collaboration led by the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, a new educational support program with music as its keystone is underway at the Children’s Home, a residential home for local children who are victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment.
Through the program, upper elementary and secondary school-aged residents of the Children’s Home receive free music instruction from a local professional. A library of brand new instruments, that includes guitars, ukuleles, portable keyboards and practice drums purchased by the partners, is also available for check-out by the students for practice sessions between classes.
All this was made possible through the collaboration of Hillsborough County agencies, private business and individual arts supporters. The Arts Council of Hillsborough County teamed up with the Hillsborough County Schools’ Project Promise to create the program while Sam Ash Music in Carrollwood and four members of the Arts Council’s Board of Directors joined in to make the instrument library a reality.
Ultimately the music program is expected to have a positive impact on the residents’ literacy and math skills. Program providers cite research from Northwestern University that demonstrated the value of music in improving concentration, memory, and focus in children.
Caroll Vick, director of education at the Arts Council, explains, “Research shows the positive impact of music education on child and adolescent brain development. A recent long-term study conducted by Northwestern with the Los Angeles Harmony Project found music education had a demonstrable, positive impact on learning skills, communication abilities, and biological development in underserved, school-aged children.”
Instruments and accessories already purchased through the partnership include:
• 6 starter guitar kits that include gig bag, strap, pitch pipe/tuner, picks, extra set of strings and chord chart.
• 6 starter ukulele kits that include case, pitch pipe/tuner and chord chart
• 6 Rhythm Tech Laptop practice snare drums plus sticks
• 3 Yamaha PSR-E253 keyboards including power adapters and headphones.
For more information about the partnership and the music program or to donate to the program, please call the Arts Council’s office at 813-276-8250.