All education is the process of giving the student the fundamental skills that she/he will need throughout her/his life. Another role of education is to expose the children to opportunities that can open doors later in life. During the Elementary School years the student is diligently studying the basics: reading, mathematics, science and history, but at the same time is exposed to 100s of other possible interests and pursuits: sports, arts, music, theater, etc. Field trips, sporting events, art shows, school play and regular school assemblies (visiting presenters) are all designed to make students aware of what the world has to offer and hopefully interest them in a few outside activities to pursue further.
SCHOOL MUSIC: The student who has studied some piano or another instrument prior to entering the elementary grades is already aware of music and some of what is available in music. When asked by a teacher, "Who wants to study an instrument?" the private music student is likely to raise her/his hand and then be selected to be in the school music program. Music students will usually be the better singers, and therefore will be selected for special chorus, or to sing in the school assembly. Music teachers quickly become aware of which students are studying privately and will often consider special ways to feature them in their programs- especially if one of the students is already playing well for his/her age.
CREATIVITY: Students studying music will usually be more active, involved and responsive during creative class activities. Because of the interractive nature of private lessons, music students will be more eager to answer questions and offer opinions when asked in the classroom. Because of their exposure to artistic considerations of performance, style, and perfection they will have more ideas for creative projects such as poetry, plays, presentations, book reports, scientific experiments and art projects, and will often be the leaders of their groups for these projects.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER: All parents take interest in which other children become their children's friends. Social interraction, influence, and behavior are always concerns, and practically the only way to guide your children successfully is by placing them in activities where your children are likely to meet other children that can be a positive and supportive influence. Music is probably second only to Church activities in how it brings children of common interest and goals together. Strong work ethic, artisitic expression and the desire to be creative are fostered in music students - and what better group is there to be a part of!
BEGINNING THE PATHWAYS: During the Elementary School years, students are exposed to many activities that will start them on the pathway toward more substantive pursuit in later years. Some will love reading. Some will love acting. Some will love math. Some will love science. Some will love history. Some will love sports. Some will love music. Some will love art. The list is truly endless. Although all education is to prepare the student for life itself, which itself has an infinite number of possibilities, the grade school years are also to prepare the student for High School, which has a large subset of those many opportunities for learning and expression. All these doors will be closed to the High School student who did not begin the pathway toward them in earlier years. A lead in the school play, singing in chorus, singing in church choir, playing in the marching band, having a church organist job, playing in a string orchestra, playing in a prestigious youth symphony (Pittsburgh Yough Symphony) all are opportunities made possible only if the student has begun the pathway toward those activites many years before - while in Elementary School. But once those doors are opened, the student is involved in activities that are nurturing and which are best likely to keep the High School student from falling into the many negative pitfalls and temptations that surround her/him (drugs, sex, stealing, apathy, bullying, hooliganism, taunting, hate-crimes, etc.) The creative outlet gives them constructive ways to "escape" from the difficulties of regular school work, studying, tests and the pressures of becoming an adult.
(See PERFORMANCE for the performance opportunities that are available to students at KMI.)
(See ELEMENTARY SCHOOL to see the options available for starting your child at this age.)
(See CHOOSING to select an instrument appropriate to your child.)
(See TUTORIAL: Timeline for more information about your child's progress in music through the many years of education.)