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By Emma Crawford, Samohi Junior

Music Education Through the Eyes of a Girl Scout

“Gold Award Girl Scouts are the dreamers and the doers who take ‘make the world a better place’ to the next level. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the mark of the truly remarkable — proof that not only can she make a difference, but that she already has,” the Girl Scout website states.

My name is Emma Crawford. I am a rising junior at Santa Monica High School, where I am heavily involved in the music program. I play oboe in the Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, and flute in the marching band, and during my frequent participation in music, I have noticed the enrollment for many music programs in the district and community was declining so I wanted to do something to help.

My Girl Scout Gold Award has included the education of both parents and students, and I am currently trying to raise enrollment in the music programs in Santa Monica by raising awareness about the benefits of music education through hosting a series of meetings for parents at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

The main parts of my project have been collected onto my website at www.instrumentinvestigation.weebly.com. I have also held three parent meetings on the benefits of music, which can also be found on the website under the parents tab.

I am working with Dr. Moerschel from Elemental Music and Ms. Woo from John Adams Middle School, who have both been helping me throughout the whole process as well because we all know music programs allow students to have fun while learning new skills that encompass many other subjects.

Music combines many high school subjects, then makes it art — all while teaching students life skills as well. Music is the class where I learn the most while also having fun and making memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.

Declining enrollment may be due to conflicts in school and extracurricular schedules. In middle school, a student has their academic classes, a physical education class, and one elective. That’s just in school! Outside of school, you have extracurriculars like sports and possibly even more classes.

When there are so many options, the benefits of music tend to get overlooked. As somebody who takes two science classes, is involved in gymnastics and practices French, I can admit all of these elective options have benefits of their own. A problem only arises if the other classes are replacing music because I believe the benefits of music outweigh any of the other activities you can participate in as a student in and out of school.

Music classes have been a safe haven for students for decades. Music classrooms and programs are always accepting of new students and provide a safe space for kids to unwind when they are having a bad day. Music lets students let loose and have fun while learning. And as an added bonus, music programs often send musicians on trips across the state, country, or even the world.

You can see how music is incredibly important to the growing mind, for educational purposes, life skills, and emotional health. If educators truly have their students’ best interests in mind, they will keep music classes in the curriculum with access to good teachers and resources.

I am eager to see enrollment go up in school and community classes and my project hopefully will convince you to join a class soon.