KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App
** CLICK HERE for a COMPLETE LISTING **    West Lyon--DISMISSING AT 1:30PM  

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 >
     

Vikings Adding $19M To Stadium Project

The Minnesota Vikings say they're adding another $19. 7 million to their ...

Tribal Officer Fired After Stun Gun Incident

An Oglala Sioux police officer has been fired for improperly using a stun gun, and the police ...

Day Care Abuse Victim Improving, Fund Set Up

A fund has been set up for a 4-month-old boy who police say was abused at a Sioux Falls ...

SF School Dist. Superintendent Stepping Down  Aug. 22

McCrossan Boys Ranch Gears Up For Rodeo  story with video  Aug. 22

Morning Crew Takes The Air Guard Challenge  story with video  Aug. 22

SD School Gets Over $59K For Training Of Miners  Aug. 22

Rapid City Businessman Fined For Illegal Workers  Aug. 22

Football Players Get A Toasty Welcome Back   story with video  Aug. 21

Iowa Man Accused Of Selling Cocaine In Candy Store  Aug. 21

Firefighters Undergo Structure Collapse Training  story with video  Aug. 21

Ag-Drones Show Off Skills At Dakotafest  story with video  Aug. 21

DUI Implied Consent Law Unconstitutional  story with video  Aug. 21

South Dakota Tops Another List  story with video  Aug. 21

Wildlife Officials Increase Limits On Lake Yankton  Aug. 21

Steamy Weather Prompts Schools To Dismiss Students  Aug. 21

Sutton Named New CEO, President At Pierre Hospital  Aug. 21

Police Arrest SF Kidnapping, Assault Suspect  Aug. 21

SD DUI Implied Consent Law Ruled Unconstitutional  Aug. 21

Judge Rules On Evidence In Pierre Teen's Trial  Aug. 21

KDLT News Archive
     

Restaurant Won't Pass Higher Wage To Workers

A St. Paul restaurant chain that dipped into employee tips ...

Police Arrest SF Kidnapping, Assault Suspect

Sioux Falls Police have arrested a 19-year-old man accused ...

SD DUI Implied Consent Law Ruled Unconstitutional

The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that the ...

DUI Implied Consent Law Unconstitutional  story with video  Aug. 21

Ag-Drones Show Off Skills At Dakotafest  story with video  Aug. 21

South Dakota Tops Another List  story with video  Aug. 21

Firefighters Undergo Structure Collapse Training  story with video  Aug. 21

Federal Jury Convicts Man In Large Drug Bust  Aug. 21

KDLT News Archive
     

Opportunity Knocks For Local Fighters At RFA 17  story with video

SIOUX FALLS, S. D.   --  In addition to giving South ...

Zenner "Freakishly" Good!  story with video

BROOKINGS, S. D.   --  South Dakota State opens their season next weekend at ...

Cougars Ready To Shock NSIC  story with video

SIOUX FALLS, S. D.   --  For the second straight year the University of Sioux Falls ...

Explorers quick start too much for Birds  story with video  Aug. 20

Scheels Plays of Week from August 11th-17th  story with video  Aug. 20

Bougher pitching well for Railcats  story with video  Aug. 20

Birds go extras behind Kirby-Jones HR's  story with video  Aug. 19

MMA Fights finally come to South Dakota  story with video  Aug. 19

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top