KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

Music Therapy Helps Kids In The Classroom



Bookmark and Share

It's a unique partnership with one common goal. The Avera Family Wellness Program and the Sioux Falls School District have teamed up to provide a new way to treat behavioral problems in young children. It starts in the classroom as students as young as three years-old pick up a violin and start music therapy.

Though it may not sound like music to your ears, the smile on their faces should say it all.

"This is a program that has helped us help them feel good about themselves or has given them that 'Hey I can do this, I'm pretty cool,'" Hayward Elementary Principal Kiersta Machacek said.

Machacek says over the past three years she has seen kids gain confidence while curbing their aggression and hyper-active behaviors.
    
"We've had less tardies. Discipline is down, major discipline is down," Machacek said.

This violin program started with just 40 students, but now in its fifth year its grown to over 400. The idea is to enhance learning. Kids begin music therapy in the early childhood headstart programs. They use smaller instruments and practice simple drills like standing still and holding the bow.
    
"So all of that is really teaching them how to control their bodies, listen to directions and them ultimately because they have done that, learn how to play a song," Avera Family Wellness Program Coordinator Julie Fieldsend said.

Teachers use suzuki-like violin training, meaning the students never actually read music. They learn rhythm and repetition.

From home to the classroom, the four-stringed instrument is changing the way these kids succeed.

"You know, you can help the child in the classroom, but it's really important that there is support for those parents at home,"Fieldsend said.

And that's where Julie comes in. The Avera Family Wellness Program Coordinator helps the parents of these children find support and resources. Studies show effective mental and behavioral treatment must include treatment for the entire family.

"They fill a need. School budgets are stretched thin and they give us another person we can go to when I have a challenging situation or a positive thing," Machacek explained.

And for 20 minutes each day, these pre-kindergartners work as a group and one on one with their instructors to enhance their learning and development. 

The months of hard work is shown off in April when the kids put on a performance for their friends and families playing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

"We have students that are proud of themselves. You can see they have a sense of pride in what they are doing," Machacek said.

The program is at Hayward and Garfield Elementary Schools and is fully funded by private donors and Avera McKennan. Violin lessons are provided by members of the South Dakota Symphony as well as local suzuki violin instructors.
< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >
     

'Concert For Canton' Helps Flood Victims  story with video

A little over a month has passed since record breaking flooding caused severe damage ...

SD Man Sentenced For Child Sexual Abuse

A Watertown man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexually abusing a ...

SD Man Found In Doghouse After Alleged Theft

A Rapid City man accused of stealing liquor from a convenience store ended with ...

Crop Duster Pilot Injured In Dixon Co. Crash  Jul. 31

Neunaber Charged With His Mother's Murder  Jul. 31

Minnehaha Co. Implementing Programs To Help Reduce Prison Population  story with video  Jul. 31

Inmates Raise Over $1700 For Flood Recovery  Jul. 31

Sioux Empire Fair Brings New Entertainment  Jul. 31

Motorcycle Accident Closes Marion Road  Jul. 31

Supreme Court Overturns Monrose Man's DUI Charge  Jul. 31

SD Delegation Attempts To Halt VA Hospital Closure  Jul. 31

SF Police Looking For Credit Card Thieves  Jul. 31

Mayor's 2015 Budget Address Tackles Issues   Jul. 31

MN Gets Ready For New Laws  Jul. 31

EPA Emission Standards Will Cost Plants In SD  Jul. 31

Stolen WWI Gas Mask Found In Rapid City Pawn Shop  Jul. 31

Rapid City School Board Imposing Teacher Contract  Jul. 31

Hundreds Gather To Mourn Slain Officer  Jul. 31

Orchestra Plans Statehood Performance In Capitol  Jul. 31

SD Man Sentenced For Scissor Attack In ND  Jul. 31

KDLT News Archive
     

Motorcycle Accident Closes Marion Road

Marion Road is closed to traffic on Thursday after a car collided ...

Neunaber Charged With His Mother's Murder

He was called a witness for weeks, now an Akron Iowa ...

Sioux Empire Fair Brings New Entertainment

After 75 years, it can be a challenge to keep ...

SF Police Looking For Credit Card Thieves  Jul. 31

SD Man Sentenced For Scissor Attack In ND  Jul. 31

Hundreds Gather To Mourn Slain Officer  Jul. 31

Rapid City School Board Imposing Teacher Contract  Jul. 31

Stolen WWI Gas Mask Found In Rapid City Pawn Shop  Jul. 31

KDLT News Archive
     

Vickers, RC Post 22 stay unbeaten in "A"  story with video

Matt Vickers had the game-winning 3-run HR for the Hard Hats as RC Post 22 ...

Winnipeg holds on after fast start at Cage  story with video

Sioux Falls, SD-- A two-run first inning by the Winnipeg Goldeyes set ...

Chad Greenway the veteran of the Vikings  story with video

It's hard to call the longest tenured Minnesota Viking an old man ...

RC Post 22 has bats working against Watertown  story with video  Jul. 30

Moore sets record, Birds win big!  story with video  Jul. 30

Polo stands test of time  story with video  Jul. 30

Scheels Plays of the Week from July 21st-27th  story with video  Jul. 30

Brookings and SF West have high hopes  story with video  Jul. 30

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top