Arts Education Can Change a Child’s Life

I was an unruly child. A rather severe case of ADHD had me bouncing off the walls, unfocused, and often, frankly, a mess. My parents put me in sports to get energy out of me, but I still had behavioral problems, especially in the classroom. Mom and Dad were at their wits’ end and were desperate for an activity that would engage me enough to keep my focus.

Around the age of five, they took me to Ira David Wood III’s A Christmas Carol in Raleigh. I was completely enthralled. I begged my parents to perform. They found ways to allow me to express myself through theatre and as a result my life changed. Studies have shown that studying the arts helps students excel in other subjects and this was certainly my experience. I began to connect my work in school with the art form I loved. My teachers began to find activities that helped me see their subjects through the lens of performing. I was hooked, and there was no turning back.

As I got older, I realized that not only did the structure of individual work, rehearsal, and performance help me achieve better results in school, but it also taught me very important life lessons that I still use to this day: how to work with other people, how to meet deadlines, and how to speak in public.

When I was asked to join the staff at The Choir School, I knew I was coming to an organization that wanted to provide the same experience to children. Elizabeth, Garrett, and Emily want our students both to be the best musicians they can be and to be the best people they can be. Elizabeth’s approach to music is rooted in the idea that discipline is the most important skill we can teach young people: working hard over a long period of time to achieve incredible results. That excited me, and I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

Science, technology, engineering, and math are great subjects for preparing children for a wide variety of careers, but the arts help make us whole. They speak to us in ways that we often don’t understand and can even heal wounds we didn’t know were there. If you have a child in your life, come see if The Choir School at St. Peter’s is for them. It could be the turning point for the rest of their lives.

Davis A. Tapp, Executive Director, The Choir School at St. Peter’s