The benefits of bringing the joy of music — and other quality activities — to children at our shelters
“Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.” – Plato
The benefits of music education are plentiful; studies have shown the impact music can have on everything from verbal memory to IQ scores, especially in children. Dedicated musical training is certainly a plus, but even informal activities, such as playing music in a group, can boost social development and promote confidence.
“There are so many developmental benefits to music education activities, including the development of active listening, cognitive and fine motor control skills,” notes Katie Thomas, site director at Bach to Rock Bristow. “These skills are developed through dynamic guided music activities that incorporate movement and exposure to live instruments.”
Thanks to Bach to Rock in Bristow, children at our SERVE Family Shelter experienced some of these guided music activities as part of our Camp Discovery summer camp experience. Instructors provided an “Instrument Petting Zoo,” featuring a ukulele, piano, guitar and drums, in which each child was able to hear a live instrument and explore it through playing and active listening. The goal is to encourage and motivate children to continue their development through music exploration.
“Everyone deserves the opportunity to experience the benefits of music and to learn and grow from it,” Thomas shares. “Being able to provide this to children who would otherwise not have the opportunity is something we hold dear to our hearts.”
Music education has been just one of the many exciting activities the children have enjoyed this summer.
“Each week there have been games, crafts and activities around a theme,” explains Catherine Elfers, lead Camp Discovery volunteer, including STEM-based and art activities. “The children love to enjoy playing games outside and love making exciting crafts insider. They’re always excited about the themes and ask about them each week!”
“There are days at camp where the children are very sad to leave and wished camp could last all day!” she adds.
Music has been a prominent feature at the SERVE Family Shelter this summer, as guests of all ages have been able to enjoy live performances, thanks to volunteer Mike Henry. There are also opportunities to introduce children to new activities across our programs, including the shelter as well as our Head Start Center in Arlington.
Here are just a few ways you can get involved:
Children’s Activities Specialist (Manassas and Woodbridge)
Classroom Volunteer – Early Head Start (Arlington)
Head Start Classroom Volunteer (Arlington)
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