The Importance of Music Beyond the Virtual Classroom
“I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.”
Plato, one of history’s greatest philosophers, said this over 2,000 years ago. At Connections Academy, we agree that music and other activities enrich a child’s education, and that’s why we’re dedicated to helping students explore their interests and expand their talents.
Earlier this week, we discussed the importance of music education in schools and shared some details about the new online music classes we offer from Juilliard eLearning. But attending these classes isn’t the only way students can learn about and share music when they attend a virtual school.
For example, in October and November our Clubs and Activities program sponsored a Music Contest. The 81 entries were original songs created by our students, and we encouraged all students to vote in a poll for their favorite songs in each category. Alternative, Blues & Jazz, Classical & Instrumental, Country, Hip-Hop & Rap, Pop, Rock, and Soul were the categories. The winning songs were compiled into a Music Contest album that you can listen to online. Students in our Art Clubs also joined in the fun by designing the cover art for the album.
Joining a club or participating in an activity like the Music Contest is a great way for online students across the country to collaborate while exploring their interests. Depending on how much time they have, students can easily participate in a club or activity. Clubs require a bigger time commitment because they meet often and include ongoing activities and projects. If your student doesn’t have a lot of time to spare, he or she can keep an eye out for special stand-alone projects like our Music Contest. Learning Coaches should watch the weekly E-News, delivered via WebMail, to find out what activities are coming up.
If your student is seriously committed to a pursuit such as music, he or she can also explore that passion outside of class. Because virtual school students don’t have to follow a strict class schedule, they have extra time and flexibility to practice, take lessons, attend competitions, and more.
One of our students who explores her love for music beyond the virtual classroom is Gabbie Rae, a 14-year-old eighth grader at Georgia Connections Academy (GACA). Because she attends class online, Gabbie can get straight-A’s while pursuing her full-time entertainment career. Gabbie also has time to get involved in many charities including the American Red Cross, Relay for Life, Camp Kemo and is an Ambassador for Free2Luv.org. In 2011 she released “Don’t Look Down” her Official Anti-Bullying Music Video and works hard every day to end bullying specifically against those with special needs.
You would never guess that Gabbie had two major throat operations to fix an underdeveloped trachea when she was a child. Since then, she has taken an incredible journey to do what she loves. She released her first album in 2008, and she spends a lot of time performing live. In her hometown, for example, she played the role of “Hannah Montana” in The Hannah Montana Tribute Show.
Whether your student wants to try an activity, join a club, or pursue a special interest full time, it’s possible to find the right solution at a virtual school. How has virtual school helped your student explore new interests? Tell us about your student’s experience.