April 4, 2018

On today's show, Director/Producer and classical pianist Michael Lange joins Adrian and Ethan in the studio.  Michael is known for his work on Bones, Criminal Minds, 90210, Greek and Switched at Birth, among some 262 shows/movies.  Later in the show we visit the Central Music Academy, a wonderful nonprofit in Lexington, Kentucky.

Everybody loves music.  Some sing or play an instrument while others just enjoy listening. Despite a universal love of music it is almost always one of the first programs cut in schools. Sadly, this is a class most kids enjoy. Not only that, but it has been proven that music helps enrich student’s lives and their education.  

When Plato said that music gives “wings to the mind,” he might have been onto something. Recent studies increasingly point to the power of music to shape the brain and boost it’s functioning.

Music students learn self-discipline. Kids who master a musical instrument learn valuable lessons in discipline, dedication and the rewards of hard work. A child must set aside time for practice every day. 

Kids learn teamwork.  Many musical education programs require teamwork as part of a band or orchestra. In these groups, students will learn how to work together and build camaraderie.

Musical training helps develop language and reasoning.   In many ways, language is a kind of song.  Students who have early musical training will develop the areas of the brain related to language and reasoning. 

Music improves academic performance. Regardless of socioeconomic status or school district, students (3rd graders) who participate in high-quality music programs score higher on reading and spelling tests.  Students who have experience with music performance or appreciation score higher on the SAT. One report indicates 63 points higher on verbal and 44 points higher on math for students in music appreciation courses.

Builds better self-confidence. With encouragement from teachers and parents, students playing a musical instrument can build pride and confidence. 

While in Lexington, Kentucky last month,  Adrian and Bev had the chance to visit the Central Music Academy (CMA), a non-profit organization that gives free musical training--in all areas of musical performance and to all levels of learners--to low-income children in Lexington.  

To be accepted onto CMA's student roster, children must qualify for free/reduced lunches at school and be between the ages of 8 and 18. CMA has a 100% high school graduation rate. And including the Class of 2017, 98% of these graduating seniors have also gone on to college or the military.  

Since CMA’s inception in 2004, their dedicated teachers have given over 30,000 free lessons to more than 900 students.  Summer camps include a World Percussion camp and a chamber string camp; group classes have included a jazz improv class, a Bluegrass ensemble, a rock band, a guitar class, and a "Wee Move and Groove" class for preschool-aged kids.

A local foundation has challenged CMA to raise $30,000 by June 30, 2018. The foundation will match any amount given by new donors.

While at Central Music Academy we talked with Executive Director Erin Walker Bliss, Assistant Director Michelle Clouse and Marketing Director Devon Daniel.  Now, let’s listen to the discussion.

Jordyn Jackson (8 years old) and Taylor Jackson (13 years old) are Co-Vice Presidents of One World Play Project’s program to promote positive play and our Kid Heroes of the Week.  

As seasoned philanthropists, the best friend/sister duo united their passion for activism, and deep love of soccer by forming a non-profit humanitarian charity called the Soaring Samaritans Youth Movement 5 years ago. Through this, they donate soccer balls and sports balls to children across the world for positive impact of upward change. Their movement also fundraises for much needed youth education programs.

Taylor and Jordyn have personally hand delivered thousands of soccer balls around the world.  Their most impactful donations include special balls that are virtually indestructible to children in poorly funded education programs, soccer centers in low income communities, and orphanages.

On today's show, Bruce Gale brings us an interview with Taylor and Jordan who share their story.

Taylor and Jordyn
Taylor and Jordyn