Music in Our Schools

Music In Our Schools
Posted on 04/25/2018

By Josh Yancey

What activity that has the longest season, has a cross-curricular tie to every subject area in school, develops social, emotional and cognitive skills, and is collectively the largest activity in the Mexico Public Schools? If you guessed music then you strummed the correct chord. Music is a vital part of a student’s education, helping to develop social and practical skills that can be used for a lifetime. In MPS the most visible forms of music education include the Dixie Gray Bands including the marching band, concert band, pep band and jazz band and the Mexico High School Choirs including the mixed choir, women’s choir, chamber choir and the famed Noteworthy. Though these ensembles allow students the opportunity to showcase their performance talents, there are many opportunities throughout the school system that allow students to grow using music as the avenue for that growth. 


            It all starts at the elementary level where music is used not only to learn singing, the foundation for playing instruments, the beginnings of music theory and fundamentals that will foster great singers and band students in middle school and high school, but to also learn everyday procedures. Teachers at the elementary level use music to segue from one part of class to another, as a tool to gain students’ focus by “getting the wiggles out” and as a functional tool with the bell system for disaster drills (just to name a few). Those are examples utilized by the classroom teachers in their rooms. When the students get to the music room they learn about Bach, Beethoven and Mozart (to name a few prominent composers), they learn about patterns in form- ABA where the students learn to recognize that the “A” section is repeated, and so much more. All of this action is packed into a short class a couple of times a week!


            Students at the middle school have a variety of choices available to them for their music education. In the 6th grade they can begin playing in band, where they can choose a variety of brass, percussion and woodwind instruments to learn. Other opportunities open up to students in the 7th grade with choir or music lab (a class that allows students to explore music in many different ways including keyboards and computers). In addition to the options of band and choir, 8th grade students next year will have the option to learn guitar in a classroom setting. The students in these classes are developing skills such as; perseverance, memorization, reasoning, craftsmanship, discipline, teamwork, risk taking and self confidence to name a few!


            Opportunities for music education increase in the high school including: dual credit music appreciation (an offering where students can gain college credit), guitar classes, and a history of rock ‘n’ roll class in addition to band and choir. These offerings give students many different avenues to pursue their own interests in music. Music classes combined serve over 250 high school students every year, fostering a culture of music in our schools that has been thriving for decades.


            Music is alive and well at Mexico Public Schools. From Kindergarten through Senior year, students have many opportunities available to enhance their general education experience. So the next time you find yourself bobbing your head, tapping your foot or dancing to the music, think back to your school music experiences and how they have impacted your life or the life of someone you may know. Be sure to catch a band and choir performance as well, they are sure to leave you with a tune in your heart and a smile on your face! You can catch the band in concert Tuesday, May 8th at 7pm in the MHS Sports Complex gymnasium and the choir on Wednesday, May 9th at 7pm in MHS Emmons Hall.