PRUNTYTOWN— Reports have shown that students who take music lessons or classes often excel both academically and socially. Recognizing the positive impacts and importance of such programs, a local music instructor is working to improve her own school’s program.
In her nearly two years at Taylor County Middle School (TCMS), Music Teacher, Sarah Chiado has worked tirelessly to rebuild and improve the quality of the program, as well as ensure its sustainability.
“When my husband (the band director) and I came to TCMS, there were very few instruments and hands-on resources for the kids to use,” she shared. “I rented a U-Haul and brought many personal items with me that make up about 90 percent of the classroom instruments we have now.”
Through the unwavering efforts of Chiado and her husband, since joining the racks at TCMS, she has managed to purchased 20 ukuleles, three sets of Boomwhackers (noise-making tubes) and a large guitar rack, along with several other items along the way.
While the arts are not often viewed as a priority in a child’s education, studies have shown a connection between music and other academics, behavior, self-esteem and creative thinking; connections Chiado has witnessed firsthand throughout her 17 years of teaching.
“Where music programs are thriving, the school is thriving. Where music programs have been cut or have low-quality teaching, the school is lagging behind,” she disclosed.
According to Chiado, music offers an additional outlet or option for students and children who may not be as strong academically or athletically.
“Without music or art programs, where does that leave those students,” she questioned. “What else is there for them? Music and art are ways for these kids to show their talents that are just as worthy of praise as scoring a touchdown or getting an A on a test.”
Chiado personally believes that TCMS is flourishing when it comes to acknowledging the importance of the arts, and believes the change in attitude toward the music program has played a major part in its development and success.
“We are working hard to make our department more respected, high quality and challenging,” she added.
However great the impacts of a music program may be, it does not come cheap, which has led Chiado to begin fundraising efforts through a donation webpage.
DonorsChoose is a site that Chiado has utilized for some time now and has proven beneficial when it comes to securing funds for certain projects.
“I’ve used this site for many projects for general music and choir,” she explained. “Right now, I am focusing on building the general music program with these funds.”
Through her link, https://www.donorschoose.org/classroom/mrs-chiado individuals or even businesses may choose to make either a one-time donation or a monthly donation of an amount of their choosing. All donations are tax deductible.
According to Chiado, “Much is lost for want of asking” has become her personal motto saying, “You’re not going to get anything without asking, and I’m not afraid to ask for what I want or need for my students!”
Her determination and dedication to the program and to her students has garnered the attention and admiration of TCMS administration.
“Mrs. Chiado and her husband are both outstanding. In their time at TCMS they have gone above and beyond to rebuild our music program, and we are eager to see what else they have in store for our music students,” voiced TCMS Principal Matthew Keener. “These programs are crucial. The difference they have already made is evident. We are lucky to have Mr. and Mrs. Chiado leading the way.”
Those interested in donating may do so anytime by visiting, https://www.donorschoose.org/classroom/mrs-chiado. Questions can be directed to Chiado via email at [email protected]
“Any little bit helps. Many projects were accomplished by just donations of $10 at a time. And I will always send a message of thanks after a donation is made. This program means a lot to me, but it means even more to my students,” commented Chiado.