Keith Filipek talks about value of music program 12.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Don’t tell Keith Filipek that music is just something extra in the school curriculum. In his opinion, it’s a key part of a well-rounded program.

“People often look at music, art and physical education as extras that are just there for fun,” Mr. Filipek told Morenci Board of Education members Dec. 7. “I disagree. They’re essential to the academic program.”

Mr. Filipek presented the monthly “educational topic” at the last school board meeting. Each month a facet of the school program is highlighted.

Mr. Filipek said a course in his graduate studies made him stop and think about his role as a music teacher.

“I’ve been teaching for 20 years, but never took the time to think about why I do what I do,” he said.

When a student learns to read, he said, pitch, inflection, etc., are part of the process, and those are all musical attributes, also.

Mr. Filipek told about studies showing that   for standardized tests, schools with good music programs outperform those with a weak program. English and mathematical skills also improve, he said, due to a boost in IQ gained through musical skills.

Studies have also shown an increase in self-esteem and self-confidence, and students show a greater tolerance for differences. In addition, students showed better classroom behavior and were less disruptive.

“I think it’s all about discipline,” Mr. Filipek said, “similar to athletics.”

The word “quality” is the key, said Morenci Superintendent of Schools Kyle Griffith.

“At Morenci we have a quality music program from kindergarten to 12th grade,” he said.

Griffith mentioned that a Morenci Education Foundation mini-grant will fund the production of “Annie Jr.,” a musical involving students in grades three to nine. Mr. Filipek will direct the production later in the school year.

Mr. Filipek introduced his talk by recalling the argumentative school board in the musical, “The Music Man.” Once the board members learned to sing together, Mr. Filipek said, they all got along well.

At that point he passed out song sheets to the board and audience, brought them all to their feet and led everyone in song.

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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