by Anthony KaDarrell Thigpen
AUTISM EDUCATION – During a recent Autism Academy for Education and Development Spring Musical and Art Show, elementary students made the night magical.
The sound of music suddenly embodied new meaning.
Music teacher Joseph Arick and Art teacher Chelcee Avis hosted the event as parents packed the audience. While Avis professionally displayed artwork throughout the foyer of Life Community Church, Arick directed the performance of each choir, class by class.
One student was brave enough to sing a solo.
“Being on stage by himself singing is truly amazing,” said principal Derrick Jamerson. “Daniel has been here 4 years and he’s come so far. Students excel with the curriculum and program at AAED. During the 1-hour event, students sang lyrics like “I’m Glad You Came,” “Don’t Be Discouraged,” and “I See Your True Color Shining Through”. During a video presentation, Arick featured Electric Guitar Week, which allowed students to play, dance, write and sing lyrics to all types of music.
“We allowed the students to rock out,” Arick said.
Music makes something magical happen that benefits learning – and so does art. Many schools across the nation are eliminating art and music programs, blaming of budget cuts. This is a mistake.
Music is universal – everybody likes it – whether listening, singing, or playing an instrument.
According to the National Association of Music Education, research proves that music benefits learners in 20 different ways. Musical training helps develop language and reasoning. It helps with memorization. It improves student work by promoting craftsmanship. Music improves hand-eye coordination and motor skills. It gives students a sense of achievement. It keeps kids interested in school. Music is the fabric of our society strengthening opportunities of success and character. It causes students to develop more empathy toward others’ cultures. Students learn pattern recognition. It’s proven that music students score higher on the SAT. It fine-tunes auditory skills. Music builds imagination and intellectual curiosity. It’s relaxing. It teaches discipline. Investing in creative education prepare students for the 21st century workforce. Music helps students think creatively which aids in problem solving. It has the ability to develop spatial intelligence which is helpful in advanced mathematics. Music promotes teamwork. The anxiety of performances teaches kids how to take healthy and responsible risks.
Lastly, music builds better self-confidence.
The Spring Musical and Art Show provided complimentary drinks and snacks, made magic happen, inspired a cheering audience, and united the autism community.