Murphy Music Program Seeks Instruments for Local Students
For some students, the price of a new or used instrument prevents them from enjoying the benefits that music-making can have on their education. The Kiwanis Club of the Sandhills has the answer to this dilemma: the Murphy Musical Instrument Program.
The program was started by its namesake, Robert Murphy, a Kiwanian and local musician who plays regularly at the Carolina Hotel in Pinehurst. In cooperation with Moore County Schools, Arts Council of Moore County and Squire's Pub, the goal of the Murphy Musical Instrument Program is to collect new and used musical instruments and donate them to future Moore County school band and orchestra students free of charge.
There is scientific proof that studying music improves a student's chances of performing at a higher academic level. By collecting donations of new and used instruments through the Murphy Musical Instrument Program, the Kiwanis Club of the Sandhills is making sure that all Moore County students can take advantage of the many benefits music-making offers.
Music not only is beneficial because of its intrinsic value, but music clearly offers a way of learning that can be directly applied to other areas of academics. Since child development is a major concern of our schools, the Kiwanis Club of the Sandhills would like to ask, "Did you know?"
Young children with developed rhythm skills perform better academically in early school years. Findings of a recent study showed that there was a significant difference in the academic achievement levels of students classified according to rhythmic competency. Students who were achieving at academic expectation scored high on all rhythmic tasks, while many of those who scored lower on the rhythmic test achieved below academic expectation. Source: "The Relationship between Rhythmic Competency and Academic Performance in First Grade Children," University of Central Florida, Debby Mitchell.
Music training helps under-achievers. In Rhode Island, researchers studied eight public school 1st grade classes. Half of the classes became "test arts" groups, receiving ongoing music and visual arts training. In kindergarten, this group had lagged behind in scholastic performance.
After seven months, the students were given a standardized test. The "test arts" group had caught up to their fellow students in reading and surpassed their classmates in math by 22 percent.
In the second year of the project, the arts students widened this margin even further. Students were also evaluated on attitude and behavior. Classroom teachers noted improvement in these areas also.
According to a profile of SAT and Achievement Test takers compiled by the Music Educators National Conference, high school music students score higher on SATs in both verbal and math than their peers. In 2001, SAT takers with coursework/experience in music performance scored 57 points higher on the verbal portion of the test and 41 points higher on the math portion than students with no coursework/experience in the arts.
"The best way you can help our students now is to look in your attic, closet, or basement for any musical instruments that you can donate to the Kiwanis Club of the Sandhills' Murphy Musical Instrument Program," says a spokesman. "The instruments will be refurbished, if needed, and given to deserving new music students free of charge. If you don't have a used instrument, you can make a cash donation or even purchase a new instrument to be donated."
Donations may be made at The Squire's Pub (1720 US Hwy. 1, Southern Pines) or to the Arts Council of Moore County offices (Campbell House, 482 E. Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines). All donations are tax-deductible.
The Kiwanis Club of the Sandhills raises over $40,000 each year that it uses to fund numerous scholarships and projects to enhance life in the Sandhills, primarily for children.
For additional information about the Murphy Musical Instrument Program, contact Chris Dunn at 910-692-4356.
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