In a time when many publicly-funded schools are downsizing or eliminating music programs, Greater Memphis Adventist Academy, a grades K-8 school, has recently started a school wind ensemble for its upper-grade students. The school joins many other Adventist schools offering musical training. For six months, Philip Williams, Ed.D., principal, sought donations of wind instruments and/or monetary donations to be able to put an instrument in the hands of the 13 students.
Research has found that learning music facilitates learning other subjects, and enhances skills that children inevitably use in other areas. Playing an instrument in an ensemble is a fun group activity that enhances social and spiritual development.
The students at Greater Memphis Adventist Academy are getting their chance at these positive benefits. The new instrumentalists attended the annual Young People's Concert, a concert for students exploring the expressive nature of music, presented by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Further assisting in their musical growth will be music mentors from local churches and the University of Memphis. Two students, who are learning the saxophone, have been the guests of the world-renowned IRIS orchestra in Germantown, Tenn., to hear the famous African-American saxophonist, Branford Marsalis, whom they met backstage after the concert.
Last February, the wind ensemble planned their first public performance.
South Central | April 2018