About Music Matters
My life is crazy and definitely not the norm! A glimpse into my everyday life would look like long days, long car rides, hours of rehearsals, stressful chaos, a lot of makeup and hairspray, and I can honestly say I am extremely blessed. I have every opportunity at my fingertips when it comes to performing arts. My family is in the entertainment business and we own a performing arts studio. I will admit that for a long time I took this for granted. I grew up on stage. When I was only three days old I was introduced to an audience on stage, so I just grew up thinking everyone lived my lifestyle. Then I began to observe parents driving their kids two to three hours for vocal or performance training in our studio. I began to see the transformation and growth in these kids. I began to see their confidence build. Then it hit me! These opportunities and exposure to performing arts I have experienced my whole life wasn’t the reality for these aspiring artists. I began to research and was astounded at the number of schools and communities that do not have the funding or support to provide sufficient arts programs and resources. With a new perspective, I was excited and driven to do something about it and from that my program “Music Matters” began.
A survey completed by Americans for the Arts demonstrates that access to arts education remains unavailable to a large number of students. The statistics show that 55% of schools do not offer theater, 88% do not offer dance, and 9% do not offer music. I know it may seem like arts is widely available, but that small 9% is equal to roughly 1.3 million students that are left without music instruction. Studies show that students of the arts outperform non-arts students by 57 points in verbal and 41 points in math on their SAT exam. When students engage with the arts, they develop skills that will benefit them throughout their lives. From improving their ability to express themselves and their creativity, to learning the importance of hard work by achieving certain goals and objectives, arts education can push children to become more effective students and give them the ability to navigate challenges into adulthood.
By taking advantage of the opportunities given to me through our family business, I am working to expose these kids to arts by providing camps, workshops, performance opportunities, and my school program! I volunteer with my hometown’s downtown program and surrounding communities to promote events, emcee festivals, and entertain the community, using each performance as an opportunity to promote the arts. Through my Triple Threat Camp, I’ve been able to reach kids K-12 to give them a 3-day arts experience jam packed full of learning and performing. I am the youngest member of the Denison Performing Arts Board of Directors. Through competitions and field trips, we are able to give all kids in our community a more hands-on arts experience. My school program gives me the chance to travel to schools outside of my community and connect with the kids to share my story, expose them to the arts, and leave them with the resources they need to get involved. I take my program into children’s hospitals and have experienced first-hand the healing powers of music and the arts.