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Editorial: Wing 2 Wing: Music education is important

The Parkersburg News and Sentinel

Because of partners such as the Save the Music and Wing 2 Wing foundations, every middle school in West Virginia will have received free musical instruments by 2027.

Residents who grew up during an era where most middle and even some elementary schools found ways to bring hands-on musical education to students might be surprised to learn it’s been lacking. But it has taken millions of dollars contributed to the state Department of Arts, Culture and History for such programs to make a come-back.

Most recently, Wing 2 Wing, through its partnership with Save the Music, donated $280,000. So far, money from the program, founded by Marshall University President Brad Smith and wife Alys Smith, has given $40,000 worth of free instruments to each of 156 schools.

“That is $6,240,000. We still have a few schools left to do,” said DACH Secretary Randall Reid-Smith, according to a report by WV MetroNews. “We will be able to hit 14 more schools and then we’ll end up with a total of 180 schools.”

Middle schools in Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, Marion, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Pocahontas, Roane and Wyoming counties are on the list for 2025, 2026 and 2027.

Forget about the pride and accomplishment of learning to play a musical instrument or the unlocking of artistic expression that comes with being part of a music program, education research shows music education enhances other skills and enhances learning in all subjects.

“Music learning supports all learning,” Kenneth Guilmartin, cofounder of Music Together, told PBS Kids.

Read more: https://www.newsandsentinel.com/opinion/editorials/2024/06/wing-2-wing-music-education-is-important/

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