The Orange Board of Education received an education itself at its monthly meeting June 19. Four fourth graders from Peck Place School and music teachers from Peck and Turkey Hill Schools taught the board and audience members what the goal is of music education.
“The answer is deceivingly simple,” said Kyle Ryan, Turkey Hill’s new music teacher. “The goal is to make all kids musicians. You may shake your heads, but it is a truly achievable goal.”
Teaching music is much like conversing through language, Ryan said. “You learn the vocabulary, then start singing and chanting, then on to reading and writing music.”
“The sequence of music learning and music acquisition happens along the same parallel as language acquisition. Music is about tonality, rhythm, instrumental playing and movement – that is the critical foundation for music,” he said.
The fourth grade students played a series of notes on recorders and built up to a song that they played for the audience.
Kristen Turkosz, Peck Place music teacher, discussed some of the misconceptions about music, such as the excuse that ‘I can’t sing.’
“We expect kids to learn to read and do math, we can have that same expectation to teach kids to read. Everyone has the ability to sing and succeed to musicianship,” she said. Another common misconception is that certain people are more talented than others and have a gift for music.
“We all have potential for growth,” Turkosz said. “We are all achievable and learnable.”
The presentation concluded with Ryan gathering the entire board of education and any audience members into a circle for an interactive lesson on sound. Though some were hesitant, all were good sports and participated in the fun lesson.
By Melissa Nicefaro – Orange Town News Correspondent