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The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

The Student News Site of Millard West High School

The Catalyst

A change in key

Music programs see decreased group rehearsal time
Alex Elgert
Sophomore Jesse Hawkins (left) and senior Josie Watkies (right) rehearse on their basses in orchestra.

When discussing academics, music tends to be brushed to the side, considered an ‘extracurricular’ when in reality there are very few classes more curricular than it. 

A 2023 article by Nina Raffio brings to attention the many benefits of students participating in music programs, including but not limited to advanced motor skills, memory retention and social consciousness. The article outlines the positive effects active engagement with instruments and voice has on students’ confidence, mental health and emotional stability.

Once you realize these facts, it is easy to see the appeal the choir, band and orchestra programs have on Millard West students. However, with the change in schedule for the 2023-34 school year, adjustments had to be made. 

In previous years, students had the choice to take full-year music classes or half-year music classes. Students who enrolled in full-year classes would meet every day at the same time, even when their other classes switched every semester. This provided ample group rehearsal time for students to hone their skills as an ensemble, as well as to receive feedback from directors and other performers.

This year, with class schedules switching every day, full-year choir, band and orchestra have been split in half. Still meeting all year, they only get group rehearsal time every other day. 

Born into the golden age of technology and media sharing, today’s high school students have had their information spoon-fed to them from a very early age, and this isn’t their fault. It does, however, pose different challenges involving keeping their attention span. A Businesswire study shows that the current 18-24 age range is more likely to forget more ‘trivial’ information, such as names and passwords. This is dangerous when taking into account not only the lack of consistent stimulation but also the overload of constantly changing schedules and information intake. 

Whether or not you’re in band, choir or orchestra, very few can argue against the benefits these musical activities have on students and directors alike.

So, when signing up for your next year of classes, make sure you weigh the pros of a music class before skimming right past.

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About the Contributor
Alex Elgert
Alex Elgert, Staff Reporter
Alex is a sophomore at MWHS. They enjoy reviewing entertainment media, like music, movies, plays, and books. This is their first year on the CATalyst staff.

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