WVU band fraternity raises music awareness at local elementary school
Published: Thursday, March 1, 2012
Updated: Friday, March 2, 2012 02:03
The West Virginia University Omicron chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi visited North Elementary School students Thursday to help raise interest in music education as part of the Kappa's Kids program.
Kappa Kappa Psi, the National Honorary Band Fraternity, developed the after school program in 2010 to help promote music education at an early age.
"We attend various elementary schools in the Morgantown area once a week for three weeks straight," said Katherine Beverage, president of Kappa Kappa Psi at WVU.
The Kappa's Kids program is finishing off three weeks of activities at North Elementary School, where members work directly with students to introduce them to various aspects of music education.
"The goal of this program is to increase awareness and interest in music education in kids," Beverage said. "Our goal is to be able to bring this knowledge to students, and by sparking interest in this area, hopefully preventing further music program cuts and allowing students' musical interests to flourish."
The program was created in response to art education programs being cut across the country, Beverage said.
"Often the first programs to suffer from budget cuts in the schools are the art programs," she said. "Across the country, music programs are being cut from elementary and middle schools."
Beverage said she believes the Kappa's Kids program is important to help students excel in school and personal relationships.
"It has been shown in multiple studies that the brightest and smartest students in a grade are often involved in an art, including music," she said. "Activities like marching band teach leadership, time management, and good communication skills with others."
Students involved in Kappa Kappa Psi rotate the elementary school children through stations with different activities during the three weeks they teach at the school, Beverage said.
"Some of the stations include musical chairs with a learning aspect incorporated, teaching notes on a musical staff, teaching and clapping out rhythms, instrument show and tell, The ‘Pride of West Virginia,' the Mountaineers Marching Band uniform try-on, colorguard show and tell, conducting with one of the WVU Drum Majors, a matching game with musical instruments and their sounds and more," she said.
Beverage said these activities provide the elementary school students with an outlet to express themselves.
"Many kids are not getting the chance to learn and embrace music. Music teaches children self-discipline, self-expression, confidence, self-motivation and perseverance," she said. "Activities like marching band encourage physical activity, teach good communication skills with other people, leadership and how to work in a group."
Beverage said she and the other members of Kappa Kappa Psi are excited about the success of the program and the good they doing for children all over Morgantown.
"It's important to give students the opportunities to have these outlets to the arts and also to teach them the necessary skills for higher education and life," Beverage said.