Monday, September 3, 2007

Rapid Citians and Venezuelans know something

The Economist has an article in last weeks issue that talks about their national youth orchestra program. Apparently more than 250,000 kids are participating in a state-supported orchestra program that has earned international acclaim. The key thing, which I think is relevant to South Dakotans, that even very difficult conditions, the program has huge benefits for all kids, not just wealthy and high-ability ones:
..four-fifths are from poor backgrounds and many have physical or mental disabilities. As well as musical training, some learn how to make instruments.The benefits have been widespread. A 1998 study by psychologists from the University of the Andes found that participants, who include formerly violent delinquents, tended to steer away from crime, drugs and other temptations. They also showed marked improvements in academic performance, self-esteem, leadership qualities and social integration.
We know about that here too.

Support school music in our community in anyway you can this year. It makes a world of difference.

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