DALLAS, Texas — The arts may not get much attention in some schools, but some professional musicians in North Texas are trying to give kids a chance to find a love for music.
Members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra spent the past three weeks on the Trinity Basin Preparatory Ledbetter campus offering free music lessons to first through eighth grade students in the South Dallas area. The annual camp, called the Kim Noltemy Young Musicians Program, offers instruments, music and instruction for students who want to attend.
Flutist and piccolo player Ashley Alarcon was one of several artists teaching the children. He said the program was started because many schools in South Dallas offer little music education during the school year. It’s a problem in education across the country. Arts-based programs have been cut or reduced over the years in favor of more resources for traditional academics, or due to budget cuts. Still, many experts point to the benefits of art classes, and camp officials say it’s one they hope will benefit more children in the area.
“We all work together. They learn the different sounds of the instruments and learn to be independent,” said Alarcon. “While collaborating with colleagues as a whole orchestra.”
Trinity Basin Prep leaders said they are excited to host the program, and have seen positive results in music education. Laura Rios, a school administrator and a mother whose students participated in a past event, said it’s exciting to see children learn and develop their love of music. He said music education has many benefits and is something they want to impart to students.
“Music activates both the right and left sides of the brain, which maximizes learning and improves students’ memories,” Rios said.
As the students at the camp practiced for the final concert, many expressed their newfound love of playing and their desire to pursue music in the future, even if it means finding an after-school program.
Dallas musicians fill the music education void
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