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 >
     

A Mother's Secret: Opioid Drug Addiction  story with video

She was a mom with a migraine. But her efforts to get rid of the pain ...

Thanksgiving Travelers Prepared For Anything  story with video

With Thanksgiving almost upon us, people across the country are making their way ...

Parent On School Break-In: "What's going to be done?"  story with video

Police are looking for the man who was found sleeping inside a Sioux Falls ...

SF Families Receive Home In Time For Holidays   story with video  Nov. 26

Teen Arrested After Early Morning Crime Spree  Nov. 26

Supreme Court: DNA Evidence Lacks For New Trial  Nov. 26

Thanksgiving Dinner: Eating Safely  story with video  Nov. 26

Hospital, SD Settle Over Improper Medicaid Claims  Nov. 26

Man Found Sleeping In SF School Classroom  Nov. 26

Police: 16 Guns Stolen From Sioux Falls Home  Nov. 26

US Agency Threatens To Act Against Air Bag Maker  Nov. 26

State Supreme Court Rejects Taliaferro Appeal  Nov. 26

Bold Shoplifters Hit Best Buy Store In Rapid City  Nov. 26

Minnesota Tops Turkey Production In US  Nov. 26

8 People Indicted In Sioux City Officer Shooting  Nov. 26

Pierre Chooses Aerodynamics Inc. For Air Service  Nov. 26

4 SD Communities To See Municipal Tax Changes  Nov. 26

Nearly 2 Dozen Alco Stores Closing In The Dakotas  Nov. 26

Deadwood October Gambling Revenue Up Over 2013  Nov. 26

Top 5 Winter Getaways  story with video  Nov. 26

KDLT News Archive
     

Man Found Sleeping In SF School Classroom

Police are investigating a burglary at a Sioux Falls ...

Teen Arrested After Early Morning Crime Spree

A teenager is facing a number of charges after ...

Police: 16 Guns Stolen From Sioux Falls Home

Police are looking for the person responsible for ...

Nearly 2 Dozen Alco Stores Closing In The Dakotas  Nov. 26

Parent On School Break-In: "What's going to be done?"  story with video  Nov. 26

Bold Shoplifters Hit Best Buy Store In Rapid City  Nov. 26

8 People Indicted In Sioux City Officer Shooting  Nov. 26

Hospital, SD Settle Over Improper Medicaid Claims  Nov. 26

KDLT News Archive
     

Stampede win at Fargo

Fargo, ND—A late power play blast from Lucas Buchta proved to be the game ...

Bos leads Coyotes to win at Dome over Wayne State  story with video

VERMILLION, S. D. – The South Dakota men's basketball ...

Jansen, Richter lead Vikes to 7th straight win  story with video

SIOUX FALLS, S. D. – Daniel Jansen scored 26 points ...

Wilber's DWU Tigers unbeaten after 9 games  story with video  Nov. 26

Montana State coach knows Jacks will be tough  story with video  Nov. 26

Eades says speed will be the strength of Herd  story with video  Nov. 26

Scheels Plays of the Week from November 17th-23rd  story with video  Nov. 26

Fuquan likes playing on young Skyforce  story with video  Nov. 25

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top