Many people are probably skeptical when someone tells them that something has the potential to “change the world!”
This is certainly a reasonable response, with part of the skepticism being the acknowledgement that rarely is it just one thing responsible for broad change.
Never-the-less, it seems that a movement is underway in Goshen and surrounding communities that strives to offer “music as a birthright” for every child; in recent years our Community School of the Arts (CSA) has moved from affecting a few hundred students in programs held at the Music Center to reaching nearly 1,000 children weekly with activities for babies through 18-years of age held all across the county. The benefits are clear:
- Young parents are establishing patterns of “spending time” with their infants and toddlers in group classes and additional music-making in their homes
- Over 300 pre-schoolers in 18 Head Start classes are receiving the cognitive, language, physical and social benefits that come with classes in music and movement
- Elementary students in our new “Music Makers” classes are learning note-reading and ensemble skills. They have fun, too, and one student this fall exclaimed that the class was “better than pizza!”
- Nearly 90 young singers in our “Rejoice” and “Shout for Joy” children’s choirs are blending their voices, and refining skills of habit that will someday provide leadership in their individual school choirs and in various settings throughout their lives
- Over 150 instrumentalists from grades 2-12 will participate in four different CSA orchestras this year, receiving challenges not found elsewhere and helping these students become some of the most focused learners in the county
Can you easily imagine a high percentage of these students someday graduating from high school and college? Because they experience beauty in music, do you envision these individuals approaching the world around them with love, caring and empathy? Will their persistence, learned through music, increase their capacity for ingenuity and problem solving?
Here at Goshen College, we believe the gift of music can be a powerful tool for change, and we boldly invite you to invest into Goshen College’s efforts to bring music to all members of our society. While every participant will pay something, families on free-and-reduced lunch will receive sliding scale scholarships, and families below the poverty line will continue in our “lessons for a dollar” program. Our region will grow into an “oasis” where music is experienced in full community, making our common future more secure and bright.
Please make a gift today that supports this effort to “change the world through music!” You can send a gift to “Development, 1700 South Main Street, Goshen, IN 46526 or donate online at http://www.goshen.edu/give/Home
Executive Director, Music Center