Amarah's Corner: Music is important to self esteem


Hi! My name is Amarah. Kids are important to me, and they’re important to Jesus, too.

In Matthew 18:10 KJV, Jesus said, “Take heed that ye despise not (hurt or be mean to) one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

“Kids like me” are kids whose parents are drug addicts, and alcoholics; kids who have suffered, or who are suffering, abuse and neglect on multiple levels; and kids who are victims of bullying.

My 16th column was about kids in school band or sports. I want to talk about it again today because I found something amazing for kids like me! When I was a kid I was fascinated with the trumpet and all I knew was, I had to play one! But the man at the music store said, “Sorry, kid! You’ll have to grow into it! They don’t make kid-sized trumpets.” My heart was broken. But, by fifth grade I had finally ‘grown into’ the trumpet! I was so excited!

Mr. Mark Garberich was the band director at Alamosa Elementary. He encouraged me and seemed to care. Mr. Garberich said my sound was a treasure.  

I felt like some of the weight on my shoulders was gone when I played my trumpet. Playing the trumpet was like being in Heaven! But, in middle school they told me I couldn’t be in band because my grades weren’t good enough.

Band was my passion, my lifeline. I know now it wasn’t my fault that my grades weren’t good enough, but I didn’t know it then. All I knew was they took away the one thing that was saving my life. I cried all the time after they told me I couldn’t be in band, and I lost the passion because they wouldn’t let me play.

But look at this! There is strong evidence that playing a musical instrument can positively impact a kid’s brain. A study by Alban, (2013), How Music Affects the Brain for the Better, shows that music makes you smarter and happier.

According to this study, music and math are highly connected and children with musical training do better in subjects like language, reading and math than their non-musical classmates. Music taught in or outside of school helps children excel in the following ways:

  • Improved language development
  • Increase  in IQ
  • Improved test scores
  • Increased brain connectivity
  • Increased spatial intelligence
  • Social skills
  • Self-esteem

A kid’s passion is that kid’s lifeline. If they take that away that’s like taking your arms and legs off. I got so depressed after they told me I couldn’t be in band. But, I found out my mom’s drug use affected my brain and my ability to process things in the spatial area of my brain, like math, and tests are overwhelming. It wasn’t my fault but I felt like it was my fault because of my grades.

I felt like a lifeless body. It’s like when they ask you, what do you want to be when you grow up? “I want to be a musician!” or “I want to be in sports!” Then when they go to middle school, the kids are doing what they love in band or sports, and they shut their passion down because their grades aren’t good enough. I believe schools need to rethink shutting kids out of band and/or sports because that’s their passion and shutting them out only makes their grades get worse and can permanently damage and lower one’s self-esteem to the point they think they are nothing. Because once they take the passion away they also take the talent away because the kid thinks he/she is worthless. What do you think?

References:
http://www.parents.com/kids/development/intellectual/benefits-of-music-lessons/
https://bebrainfit.com/music-affects-brain/

Thank you for reading my column. Please send questions or comments to me in care of the Courier, [email protected] or write to me at Amarah’s Childrens Foundation “Kids Like Me” P.O. Box 354, Alamosa, CO 81101, or call (719) 480-4624, leave a message, and someone will return your call. If you know a kid like me, or parent who is an addict, or alcoholic, please tell him or her about “Amarah’s Corner, Kids Like Me” in the Valley Courier newspaper and tell them to contact me, or you can contact me on their behalf. And, if you know a kid like me, or parent, who does not have a Bible, but would like to have one, please, contact me and I will make sure he or she gets a Bible of their very own, “…and all the earth may know there is a God…” (1 Samuel 17:46, KJV).
My goal is to help kids like me, and I want to help their parents, too. Until next time, remember, Jesus Loves You, and JESUS IS LORD!

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