Duke School Celebrating “Music in Our Schools Month”
In the fall of 2022, Duke School relaunched the anticipated middle school band program, which opened its doors to students of any skill set. Charles Crawford, the Middle School Band teacher, helped the program to expand into a full-scale music giant: including a band, orchestra, string quartet, guitar ensemble, rock band, and chorus. This March, Duke School together with dozens of students from our music program and choir, and schools around the nation celebrate a national “Music in Our Schools Month (MIOSM).”
“Music is important to me because it is a form of expression. It is a way to express how you feel and express that to other people... I was playing music since kindergarten, so music has always had a big impact on me,” Ivy, Eighth Grade
Indeed, the celebration of MIOSM on a national level has brought more awareness to music education among students. Many educational institutions decided to support young students in developing their skills and raising a love of music. Duke School joined the cause and is happy to invite you to our celebration by glancing at our artists’ achievements and asking them what music classes, choir, performances, band, and orchestra practice mean to them. Megan, Lower School music teacher mentions how excited she was to see the Duke School choir and singing lead fifth grader Georgia, performed together with NCCU Vocal Jazz Ensemble. "Music enhances our sense of community and it is a vehicle of self-expression for all students here at Duke School", adds Megan. Charles agrees and excitedly shares some student achievements: our seventh-grade dragon Ian performed with NC Central District Bandmasters Association All-District Band Clinic, where he got in after passing a rigorous audition last month.
John (a fourth-grade student) talks about how beautiful music is to him and that he enjoys bringing it to the people. He often practices after classes with his other peers: “I love when we perform… It is nice to feel good about myself and to be able to learn a music piece.” Ivy (an eighth-grade student) adds that having a music program at Duke School in early grade helps to build a foundation to take it further in life. She adds that music classes are great, and that “…it is not just strict: play this – play that. Charles allows you to play how you want to play… It is nice to be around people with different skill levels, …it helps to see everyone’s experience in playing music.”
Our music community has children of different ages and experiences. Emma (a seventh grader) emphasizes that it does not matter if you just started playing music or singing, because the DS music community is very welcoming and rewarding, “it gives kids an opportunity to be a part of something.” Charles agrees, mentioning that the recognition of MIOSM in March and programs like these help young dragons to prepare for local and national auditions, acquire skills in more than one instrument, and perform at events.
Matthew Etherington (Performing Arts Teacher) shares other students’ “wows.” This spring, the seventh-grader Sanvi auditioned for the dragon in Shrek The Musical Jr. “She blew us away with her soulful singing. This, typically quiet student, came to life on the stage once given the opportunity to shine.” He emphasizes that “…we develop the foundation provided in lower school music into multi-disciplinary projects that often culminate in performance (band, chorus, or musical). A music education bridges the mind-heart connection and draws people together in collaborative and creative ways.”
Daily, our young dragons fill the campus with music, whether it is singing, performing, or playing an instrument, it is always great to see them enjoying what they do. “I like how fun it is,” adds Emma, a seventh-grader, and starts playing her cello. She and other students are preparing for many upcoming events: Spring Concert (Apr. 27th), Grandparents and Special Friend’s Day (Apr. 28th), Spring Musical (May 18th), and more. Our upstanders are already on it.
Happy Music in Our Schools Month!