Musical and Physical Literacy
Music is one of the most powerful tools we have to help students because of its ability to engage so many parts of their mind at once. Say you’re playing the trumpet, like I did when I was in school. Playing the instrument requires you to:
- coordinate motor, cognitive, and sensory systems to be able to put their fingers on the correct valves and move them at the right time;
- read musical notes on a sheet of music and know what sounds they represent;
- hear if the pitches and rhythms are correct and coordinating with other players and the conductor at the right time;
- engage with how the sound of music makes the student feel, which lights up the brain’s reward system.
All of these combined makes playing music one of the richest and rewarding brain brain exercises we can do as humans.
Research shows that learning music strongly reinforces language skills, builds and improves reading ability, and strengthens memory and attention
Because of this knowledge and research, I would fully support any funding for musical programming in the Greater Victoria School District.
Physical education took a massive back seat during the pandemic, there’s no denying that. While students were still able to communicate with each other via video chats, their ability to physically interact with each other wasn’t there. Not only did this have a negative impact on fitness levels, but also to their ability to interact with each other and pick up on physical signals and cues that each student may be giving off. It’s hard to fully determine how a person is feeling when all you can see is their face on a screen.
With a return to in-classroom teaching, we need to ensure that students have the facilities and equipment necessary to build their fitness and interact with each other. Fitness and fatigue go hand in hand, and if we can increase fitness we can lower fatigue, and this in turn can increase attentiveness and the ability to learn.
Nutrition is also a key driver of one’s ability to learn, and teaching students about the important choices of what foods are best for them, and what foods (such as cookies) are a “sometime food”. While parents will always have the last say over what their children eat, by empowering students with knowledge, we can help them make the right decisions for themselves.