It’s been some time since Shayla Paige has performed the piano.
The Starkville Excessive College junior and member of the varsity choir’s Chamber Singers, she’s excited to once more “tickle the ivories” starting subsequent fall.
Partnership Middle School and Starkville High School have procured the funds to build piano labs to additional music schooling within the college district.
The Starkville-Oktibbeha Consolidated School District Board of Trustees accepted a $10,000 donation from the Starkville-MSU Symphony Association for a piano lab at PMS. The board additionally voted to fund a piano lab at SHS for $17,985.
Paige plans to be one of many first college students studying in the highschool lab, each to increase her music expertise and improve her singing.
“I’m inquisitive about taking piano classes as a result of I like music,” Paige mentioned. “I had a keyboard once I was youthful, so I discovered to play a little bit bit, however then I finished. So, I need to learn to play the piano once more, and I believe it should assist my singing voice as effectively as a result of I can tune my voice to the piano.”
The SHS piano lab may have 16 full-sized weighted keyboards, and PMS may have 15 keyboards, every of which may be reworked into two small keyboards with particular person headsets. These duo keyboards will enable instruction for as much as 30 college students.
SHS Director of Choral Music Jennifer Davis mentioned these piano labs will give college students publicity to music concept and piano expertise not earlier than supplied within the college district.
“It’s one factor to speak about music and study composers and devices and music concepts,” Davis mentioned. “It’s a completely totally different factor to create it and expertise it and do it your self. The idea of educating music by making music is way more efficient than simply studying about music.”
These piano labs would be the second and third piano labs constructed within the district, with Armstrong Junior High School’s piano lab already constructed. Davis mentioned Armstrong’s piano lab has about 30 small keyboards with USB ports for laptop computer connection, and funding for the lab got here from the varsity administrative finances. She mentioned with the 2 new lab additions, anybody from grades 6 by way of 12 can obtain piano instruction.
Davis mentioned the piano labs will probably be included in all center and highschool music schooling courses.
“When you take a music class at Armstrong or Partnership or the highschool, it should embrace the piano lab in a roundabout way whether or not that’s common music, AP music concept or music appreciation,” Davis mentioned. “They received’t be taking part in piano the entire time, however it is going to be integrated in a roundabout way.”
A particular piano course will probably be supplied beginning in fall 2020 for college kids inquisitive about gaining keyboard expertise. College students of all expertise ranges can take the category, and individualized instruction will probably be supplied.
Opening ‘a world of alternatives’
The Symphony donated the funds for the PMS piano lab as a result of members wished to discover a technique to nonetheless deliver music to the neighborhood all through the pandemic. Symphony President Haley Montgomery mentioned she is thrilled to be offering younger musicians with the sources to develop of their artwork.
“From the symphony’s perspective, we have been simply excited in regards to the alternative to introduce college students starting in sixth grade to piano expertise,” Montgomery mentioned. “… This chance will present them with some expertise for faculty or for the rest they need to do in music. This was a chance for us to simply give again to the neighborhood on this loopy time.”
The Symphony is in its 53rd season within the Golden Triangle. Montgomery mentioned the Symphony’s purpose is to supply high quality classical and symphonic music for neighborhood members who in any other case may not be uncovered to this artwork type.
With tasks similar to “Applications for Youngsters,” a youngsters’s orchestral program, the Symphony continues to search out new initiatives to gas arts into major and secondary schooling, and Montgomery mentioned these piano labs will ignite inspiration and revolutionary pondering in college students.
“We really feel that the humanities open up a complete world of alternatives for college kids to be inventive, to be uncovered to various things, to make use of some expertise and pondering that they don’t discover in different courses,” Montgomery mentioned. “We’re very excited to be part of simply serving to college students increase their alternatives associated to the humanities and expose them to extra creativity.”
Davis mentioned she is grateful to work in a college district that values the humanities as a lot as athletics and teachers and is longing for the expansion and success of the music program.
“I believe studying keyboard expertise is vital in music schooling,” Davis mentioned. “I believe it’s a bonus that the varsity district has offered the funding for this to occur, and the symphony seeing this as a chance to take a position again is a big reward.”