Printed on: April 30, 2013

Teaching Mozart


Received April 22

This week I had the opportunity to judge the Idaho Falls High School student talent show. What a tremendous group of youths we have in our community. There was a range of talent from piano solos, vocal solos, performance of original music, dancers, beat boxers, bands and a sax choir that brought the audience to its feet.

Observing these kids, I realized that most are involved in the various music/ band/art classes taught at the high school. I also found the majority are top scholars in their class and several are involved in student government and other areas of leadership in the school.

Coincidence?

I think not.

Studies show students who participate in the arts out-perform their nonarts peers on the SAT. Participation in music education increases children's creativity, self-discipline, critical thinking and self-esteem. It is a key component to learning throughout all academic areas. It is critical to a well-balanced education.

We, as a community, as well as the state and local boards of education, can never lose sight that a strong fine arts program will aid our school district to reach the highest level of achievement and excellence possible. After all, we ask our kids to read Shakespeare; shouldn't we continue to teach Mozart?

I commend the students of IFHS for their hard work and achievement, and also the teachers of the fine arts that continually help mold our youth in becoming a successful, well-rounded and positive generation. (Word count: 240)

Carolyn Olsen

Idaho Falls