If you’ve had the pleasure of attending a concert of BFA Fairfax within the past few years, you may have noticed some changes. Within this time we have welcomed new faculty and added new ensembles. Most noticeable, however, has been the profound increase in student participation in our various music programs. Whether it’s an elementary holiday concert, or one of the many middle/high school performances throughout the course of the year, student participation and attendance is at an all-time high. These positive changes are in large part due to the efforts of our music educators Sarah Wolff (K-5 music), Christy Maynard (6-8 music, 6-12 chorus), and Ian Flint (Instrumental music/band), but they are also due to the increased level of enthusiasm and love for music performance demonstrated by our student body and school community in recent years.
In the words of elementary music educator Sarah Wolff, “Last week’s middle & high school choral and band concert had a full house. I have never seen the gym that full for a 5-12 concert since I started teaching at BFA in 2015. I was blown away by the students musicianship and professionalism that they showed throughout the performance. You could clearly see the excitement and pride each of the ensembles had as they played and sang! Each of the ensembles has doubled, if not tripled in size over the last 3 years. The hard work and dedication to students’ music education programming is inspiring!” The high attendance numbers are equally as noticeable at elementary concerts, necessitating that we now hold our elementary concerts on two separate nights to accommodate the standing-room-only crowds.
The K-12 Winter concerts will soon be upon us. Students will be performing a variety of holiday and winter choral music to celebrate the season. It is the goal of the music department to expose students to different types of music. While in classes, students discuss different cultural traditions while learning and rehearsing their concert music. Exposing students to different types of music gives them a bigger perspective of the variety of music that exists in our world, providing them a rich music education.
As numerous research studies have shown, there is a direct correlation between music education and academic achievement. Specifically, “Students in high-quality school music programs score higher on standardized tests compared to students in schools with deficient music education programs, regardless of the socioeconomic level of the school or school district” (Johnson, C.M. & Memmott, J.E., 2007). A study published by the Journal for Research in Music Education found that “Making music provides the freedom for teens to just be themselves; to be different; to be comfortable and relaxed in school and elsewhere in their lives” (Campbell, P.S., 2007).
With the tremendous growth of our music programs at BFA Fairfax, and the proven relationship between music participation and student achievement (see below), we look forward to observing the continued benefits from the high quality experiences our students have access to on a daily basis.
We hope to see you at one of our upcoming concerts to witness these programs on the move!
Wed. Dec. 13: MS/HS Winter Concert 6:30pm
Thurs. Dec. 14: 3-5 Winter Concert 6:30pm
Tues. Dec. 19: K-2 Winter Concert 6:30pm
Why music education matters:
Johnson, C.M. & Memmott, J.E. (2007). Examination of relationships between participation in school music programs of differing quality and standardized test results. Journal of Research in Music Education, 54(4), 293-307.
Campbell, P.S., Connell, C.& Beegle, A. (2007). Adolescents’ expressed meanings of music in and out of school. Journal for Research in Music Education, 55(3), 220-236.