Steamboat Springs may be best known as Ski Town USA, but there’s more for youth to do than just Winter Sports Club. Music programs are gaining momentum in the schools and recently there have been more opportunities for students to get involved.
Music Opportunities in Northwest Colorado
On Monday, the Steamboat Springs High School choir performed at the Northwestern Vocal Large Group Festival at Moffat County High School. A total of seven high school choirs participated in the event from three counties in Northwest Colorado. The competition had two components: a performance of three prepared pieces and a sight reading portion, where the group had only five minutes to learn a new piece, without the help of the director. The choirs were judged on a five-point scale, with 1 being “superior” and 5 being “unprepared.” Steamboat rose to the top of the competition with an overall score of 2 being “excellent.” They also received a rating of 1 for the sight reading portion.
Next month, the wind and string players of Steamboat Springs and surrounding towns will have a chance to perform during the Strings School Days program. Professional violinist, composer and educator Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) will return for the final week of the program to perform with the groups during field trips for the schools and evening concerts for the community. There will be more than 10 workshops, field trips and concerts, and all of them are free and open to the public. If you’re interested in attending any of these performances, you can view the entire schedule here.
Benefits for Children in Music Programs
Children who play music benefit intellectually, socially and emotionally, according to the National Association of Music Merchants. Studies show that students who take music lessons have higher intelligence quotients and Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development finds that arts participation motivates students to stay in school. Playing music also assists students with forming bonds with peers and adults. In a study called Adolescents’ Expressed Meanings of Music In and Out of School students “described their music teachers as encouraging, motivating and acting as both role models and friends that can be trusted for listening and giving advice.” Students also connect better with schools that include music and show greater camaraderie, fewer fights and less racism, according to Arts With the Brain In Mind, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Music can be even more beneficial for students at rural schools, such as those in Northwest Colorado. Third Space: Why Learning Matters found that “arts programs helped schools in economically disadvantaged communities develop students’ critical-thinking and problem solving skills.” Children stand to gain many benefits from participating in music programs. More opportunities for our students to get involved in music both in and outside of school, mean that they have a better chance of taking away some of these important skills.