We have both been deeply affected by music in our lives so we decided to focus on music for our Gold Award. A Gold Award project must address an actual need and not just a want in the community and it must be sustainable. So we researched the effect of music on things like school performance, relationships with others and college success. We found out that playing a musical instrument or participating in other fine arts activities do things like increase SAT scores, promote multicultural awareness, increase cooperativeness with teachers, etc. We also found that despite the benefits of the fine arts that public schools and other organizations dedicated to the fine arts are being forced to slash fine arts budgets as more focus is being placed on standardized testing and cutting government spending. Musical instruments are very expensive and it is very unlikely that kids will spontaneously decide on their own that they want to be musicians. So, there had to be some way to introduce them to music.
At our first Fine Arts Bonanza, kids grade 4th-7th got to hear, touch and play the drums, trumpet, tuba, saxaphone, clarinet, flute and trombone and learn vocal skills all in one place in one afternoon. According to people in the fine arts community, our workshop was very unique and worthwhile. Even schools with band programs do not allow students to try out so many different instruments. Because it was one of a kind, we also had adults asking us if they could attend to see and learn how such a workshop would work. We had over 20 volunteers sign up to help so we know enthusiasm from music clinicians is there. We also received great feedback from participants and we are being encouraged by many people to host additional workshops.
Also, we will be making teaching packets with things like video snippets from the workshop, research findings, and other teaching tools to send to schools and youth organizations so they can have step by step instructions.
Funded by Oahu, HI (August 2015)