November 28, 2018

On today's show we visit with Mind Meets Music, a nonprofit in Grand Rapids, Michigan, that uses music to build pre-school through third grade literacy and math skills.  Later Bruce Gale brings us the second part of an interview with Kid Hero Ana Humphrey.

Plato was right when he said that “music gives wings to the mind”.  You will find many teachers of young children who would agree with him. Recent research has found that music uses both sides of the brain, a fact that makes it valuable in all areas of development. Today, the trend towards cutting funds for music programs is an alarming one.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, almost 6 million elementary students - overwhelmingly in our highest poverty schools- have no art or music classes. Far too often, the schools that need the arts the most are getting them the least.  

A recent study from the University of California found that music trains the brain for higher forms of thinking. Second graders who were given music lessons scored 27% higher on proportional math and fractions tests than children who received no special instruction. Research indicates that musical training permanently wires a young mind for enhanced performance.  Music reading uses the same portion of the brain that’s used in mathematical thinking. That’s why so many adept musicians are also quite good in math.  

And this brings us to today’s highlighted charity, Mind Meets Music…

Mind Meets Music, a nonprofit in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is an academic achievement program using music to improve literacy skills and enhance brain development. We are committed to a quality learning experience and the success of underserved preschool through second grade students. Their vision is building academic success for today’s children; shaping the minds of tomorrow’s leaders.  @MindMeetsMusic

The Mind Meets Music curriculum is based on two world renowned arts methodologies: Kodály, a Hungarian music education methodology and Dalcroze, a Swiss movement methodology.  33% more students reached literacy proficiency and 52% more students reached math proficiency after participating in Mind Meets Music.

They also developed the free Mind Meets Music App, a tool allowing early elementary students the power of using music to cultivate academic success.  Dello the Dino takes students through four levels.

While in Grand Rapids earlier this month, Adrian and Bev had the opportunity to visit Mind Meets Music and talk with Daniel S. Stauffer, Chief Operating Officer and Justin Swan, Director of Advancement.

On today’s Kid Heroes segment, Bruce Gale brings us the second part of an earlier interview with Ana Humphrey, an 11th-grade student from Virginia. 

One of her greatest accomplishments is a program called Watershed Warriors. What began as a class project when Ana was in seventh grade has since become a nonprofit organization. Watershed Warriors focuses on serving children in high-poverty and racially and ethnically diverse schools and works with the National Parks Service and local organizations to get students into wetlands to learn science, have fun, increase their environmental knowledge, and serve their communities.  Through the program, high school students pair with local fifth graders to promote environmental awareness with hands-on experiments in community wetlands.  She was one of Virginia’s Outstanding STEM award recipients for 2018.  


Watershed Warriors
Watershed Warriors