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.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.grieders
    ONE-TWO PUNCH—Morenci’s Griffin Grieder saved his best for last, running his fastest time ever in the 110-meter high hurdles at the state finals Saturday in Grand Rapids to finish first in the state in Div. IV. His brother Luke, a junior (right), claimed the state runner-up spot. Bulldog junior Bailee Dominique placed seventh in the 100-meter dash.
  • Front.sidewalk
    MORENCI senior class president Mikayla Price leads the way Sunday afternoon from the Church of the Nazarene to the United Methodist Church for the baccalaureate ceremony. Later in the day, 39 members of the senior class received diplomas in the high school gymnasium.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • 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.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.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017