Glacier Middle School is a newly opened school in the Highline School district located in SeaTac Washington. Their band director, Stephanie Kuborssy, shares some of her thoughts on the importance of music education and the role music plays in our lives.
When asked about the difference music education makes, Stephanie says “School music programs are important because they provide a creative outlet for students while also giving them a sense of community. Music education provides students with not only learning academic material, but social and life skills that they will use for the rest of their life.”
“When I see students who are highly unmotivated, skipping class, and not excited about school, they completely change their tune once they join band. I have a student this year who at the start of the year was not at all motivated about being in school, and now they come in daily at lunch to practice, they are engaged in class. They told me they will stay in band through high school they love it so much. Music education gives students purpose, and I think that says a lot about the importance of it!”
“Within the music program at Glacier, in addition to our normal classrooms we have one band that rehearses on their own, and after school. Once we find our footing (after having just opened this brand new school), we want to add Jazz band and possibly a pep band too!”
Teaching music comes with its challenges, and Stephanie’s programs are no different. “The challenge I face day to day is providing enough individual instruction so all students get the information they need to be successful on their instrument and in the class. Northwest Music Mentors really helps me fill the gaps with my students who get less individualized teaching from me. My kids look forward to our mentor coming every week. They now know that it’s a time to ask questions, get help with a specialist, and more small group time. It helps me out so that I can work with the kids in my room and give them more individualized help as well!”
Stephanie also shared why music is so important to her personally. “Music education has saved my life. In middle school, I was heavily bullied and very much an outcast. My band teacher allowed me to come in at lunch and have a safe place where I could also practice. It allowed me to improve my work ethic, my grit, my patience, and so much more. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without music education.”
Northwest Music Mentors is excited to have Stephanie and her students participate in our pilot program, and we look forward to the progress all of her students will make this year and in years to come.