Smart, capable, and more resilient than they realize; our high school students challenge us and bring us joy every day. Living in a rural, high needs district, life can be tough for our students, but they still manage come to rehearsals excited, inquisitive, and ready to learn.
My students and I have revived the choir at our school, and we've been hard at work for the last four years to re-establish our program.
We have prepared many concerts, sung at community events, auditioned for honor choirs and state assessments, and in the last two years, we've traveled to a different city to sing at festivals. Our band program is on the same journey, and they are attending this festival for the first time with us this year.
These days, our students are hard at work in rehearsals to continue our progress and reach the next level of musicianship. It is my hope one day that we can be regarded as one of the best music programs in our area, and with our plucky group of kids, it will only be a matter of time when that hope will surely turn into reality.
Our school band and chorus is performing at the WorldStrides Heritage Festival in New York City.
These festivals give our students an opportunity to set goals as individual musicians and as a choir; to become performance ready, to be assessed on a summative level, and to have enriching cultural experiences.
These festivals also provide a masterclass opportunity, where the festival judges work one-on-one with our students. These festival judges are typically college professors who are certified to adjudicate such festivals. Our students get to receive precious feedback from experts in the music field.
The best and arguably most integral part of any student's education is being able to step outside the classroom and apply their knowledge and skills in real life opportunities. Not only do our students get to apply their musicianship skills at an important festival, they also get to apply soft skills that make a "concert tour" go smoothly, such as: communicating with adults and peers, being a team player, being punctual, having the emotional maturity to handle critique and apply it to their learning, and having a positive attitude.
Trips like these are life-changing for our students. Through these travel opportunities, not only do our students benefit academically, but learning beyond the classroom provides our students a chance to see what's possible for themselves; for their futures. It allows our students to dream, and broaden their horizons.
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