Music makes a difference when tied with learning

Over my many years of writing this column I have often written about how music is positively connected to better student learning in other subjects. Many studies have shown such correlations between quality early music instruction and stronger success in several academic disciplines.

A July 12, 2009 article in the Mankato (MN) Free Press carried the headline, “Music used to teach language.” While many studies have also shown this positive relationship with the study of mathematics, this one gives strong evidence for music learning adding to language learning.

The young people involved in this study were mostly children for whom English was not their prime language. The setting was a summer music program aimed at boosting the academic skills of English-language learners. The pupils spend four days a week with a half of each day on learning an instrument two days and for another day singing and learning to play a recorder. Drums are the “lessons” for the fourth half-day. Regular language work is taught the rest of the time.

Each day, students practice the same sounds and songs, but on different instruments. They learn to read and perform musical notes on a modified staff that resembles a mathematical x-y plane. In this total process they also learn right-to-left and the decoding of symbols while also learning spatial reasoning, logic and problem-solving skills. Many concepts are taught but in a number of different ways for each concept.

The local Mankato Symphony Orchestra and the Minnesota Opera Chorus have both been involved as supporters of this program. Larry Script, chair of music at the New England Conservatory of Music is the creator of this unique curriculum. He stated, “There’s been more research on music than on any other art form. Now, it’s about using that research to adapt school policy.”

While this study has shown clear gains for these students, other studies have found similar academic gains for a wide variety of pupils. Music DOES make a difference and it is NOT an EXTRA--but rather, it is an essential element in a rich curriculum, which builds on the connections between music and many disciplines. A good music program is vital if a school system is to have a solid and successful academic program!

OJHS orientation Aug. 21 & 25

Oakwood Jr. High School will start on Tuesday, Aug. 25. The seventh grade orientation will be Friday, Aug. 21 at 9 a.m. in the East Gym and will last until 12 p.m. There is an orientation for eighth graders new to Oakwood on Friday, Aug. 21 at 1 p.m. in the Jr. High Office.

Oakwood Junior High schedules, with classes only, were mailed on July 24. The final schedules with locker and homeroom assignments will be mailed out on Aug. 12 and student packets will be handed out on the first day of school.


OHS Class of ’73 & ’74 reunion Aug. 1

The Oakwood High School Class of 1973 & 1974 Joint reunion will be held Saturday, Aug. 1, 2009 at the Patterson Homestead (Brown St. & Irving Ave. by UD) in Dayton. It will be a casual BBQ type of event starting at 6 p.m. in the evening, rain or shine. The Patterson Homestead has lots of great outdoor and indoor space. The cost will be $35 per person - the facility and all food and beverages (soft drinks, beer, and wine) included.

To make your reservation, please send your name, email address, phone, and your check (made out to OHS Class of 1974). Mail to: Dave Frech (class of 1973) and Sue Gaeke Frech (class of 1974) at 4448 Moraine Ridge Lane, Kettering, Ohio 45429.

Please forward this reunion information to classmates you have addresses for in your email address list, or call up those with whom you still keep in touch and spread the word.

Hope to hear from you, and see you there!

Dave & Sue Frech

(937) 475-3595 (1973) (1974)

Sam Andrews Hall of Honor luncheon Sept. 17

The Sam Andrews Educational Hall of Honor luncheon and induction ceremony will be held on Thursday, September 17, 2009. The following persons will be inducted:

Mrs. Pamela Lahman, who taught at Harman Elementary School from 1973-1981 and E.D. Smith Elementary School from 1981-2003. Mrs. Lahman resides in Huron, Ohio.

Mr. Lester Steinlage, who taught mathematics at Oakwood High School from 1972-1995. Mr. Steinlage resides in Englewood, Ohio.

A luncheon will be held at The Mandalay Banquet Center at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 17, where the inductees, as well as previous recipients of the award, will be honored. The public is invited to attend the luncheon (cost is $16.50). To make reservations for the luncheon, please call or email Sandy Maresh at the Board Office at (937) 297-5332 or by Wednesday, Sept. 9.

On Thursday evening at 6:45 p.m., prior to the game, the recipients will meet with wellwishers and friends on the Alumni Terrace on the southwest corner of Mack Hummon Stadium. Prior to the start of the home football game with Valley View there will be a brief awards ceremony.





The Who and Where


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July 28, 2009
Volume 18, No. 30

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