I believe music is so impactful in our lives because it comes from the Creator of the universe. In fact, music or references to music are mentioned in God’s Word over 1,000 times. The book of Psalms is filled entirely with songs written to God. Not only is music and singing something that is important to God, but He commands us to sing! It’s no wonder that music has such an impact on our own lives!
As many of you may remember, in the summer of 2018 we announced the restart of a music program at Cookson Hills Christian School. The decisions to bring on another teacher, invest time, money, and effort, were not taken lightly. But here we are, winding down year one and things have gotten off to an amazing start; one that could only be done with God’s backing. Students have been so greatly impacted by God through music in this first year back. This impact shows improvements in our students’ social skills, stress reduction, and positive ways of coping with frustration and trauma.
With regard to musical training, our Percussion Ensemble students have grown leaps and bounds! Four out of the seven students that started the year in the program could not read music, let alone play a melody on an instrument. Now, I’m proud to announce that all of my students are capable of reading music, playing multiple percussion instruments, and playing in an ensemble setting. In fact, our Drumline season went off without a hitch. The crowd, coaches, players, and visitors all enjoyed listening to our 6-12th graders play in support of our basketball teams.
The second half of the school year is one of my favorite times of the year as a band director. Our students participated in a number of opportunities to showcase their hard work and successes. On April 6th, select students from the middle school music class, as well as the entire Percussion Ensemble, performed at the Glenpool Solo and Ensemble Festival. This event highlighted students’ achievements as soloists, as well as duets, and finally a traditional Percussion Ensemble. Two of our students, AdeLynn and Jaci, performed “Under the Sea” as a duet on Marimba. Others performed duets utilizing the timpani and snare drums.
Finally, as an entire ensemble, the group performed a song entitled “Mi Milagro” which has a Spanish carnival theme highlighted by three girls playing marimba, while other students played congas, bongos, triangle, tambourine, cymbals, maracas, and the afuche. Each musician displayed their abilities at their finest and all earned superior ratings for their hard work and performances. We were also able to share these pieces with our Cookson Hills community in a community concert and with our supporters at Hilltop this summer.
Looking into the future, Cookson Hills is excited to continue expanding the music department by offering a full band program! Beginning next school year, this multi-year endeavor will give students the opportunity to learn a band instrument for a few years in a Beginners Band class and will culminate with their participation in the high school band. The vision is to cover a variety of styles or genres of music including pep band for volleyball and basketball games, concert style music, jazz band, and more.
God’s goodness and faithfulness will never cease to amaze me. This plays out daily in the lives of our kids at Cookson Hills. It’s also very apparent in how Cookson Hills continues to grow, adding new things like the music program. Thank you to everyone who helped us bring back this music program! We are excited to see how God continues to bless this program and use it for His glory.