YES Prep Public Schools
Jonathan Brown

At YES Prep, our mission is to empower all students with an excellent education that unlocks endless opportunity. This includes nurturing the whole child and that includes music programming that sparks creativity and passion alongside academic achievement. 

For Music in Our Schools Month, we're proud to spotlight the ways YES Prep's music curriculum expands young minds and provides meaningful creative outlets from the earliest ages through high school graduation. 

The melodic journey begins  

Many YES Prep families may not realize the strong musical foundation we provide even to our littlest learners. Select pre-k and kindergarten campuses offer introductory music classes that celebrate the joy of song, rhythm and creative movement. These experiences awaken an early appreciation for the arts with our SPARKS. 

As students progress in elementary school, their musical exploration continues through fun exposure in general music classes. By the time they reach middle school, young musicians can begin choosing electives that unlock deeper study. 

Discovering music passions in middle & high school 

YES Prep's secondary campuses provide a wide range of music courses tailored to diverse student interests. The course offerings span from performance opportunities in orchestra, guitar and piano to instruction in music history and music theory.  

The numbers speak volumes: Over 4,500 students across the YES Prep network are currently enrolled in a music course or elective this year alone, immersing themselves in the world of notes, rhythms and creative expression. 

"When students learn music, the benefits extend far beyond just playing an instrument," explained Chrissy Lucivjansky, music teacher and orchestra director at YES Prep West Secondary. "Music is a multifaceted discipline that intertwines with various subjects. It bridges classical and contemporary tunes to students' personal experiences in and out of the classroom. We learn the history behind the composer's music decisions (social studies), how sound is created and altered (science), as well as the theoretical elements used to create music (music theory/math). It breeds discipline and demands continuous self-assessment and practice to enhance group performances."

Intersection between music and student success 

Lucivjansky's perspective aligns with growing research showing music education's vast impact on overall childhood development. Studies link musical instruction to improved language abilities, emotional intelligence, fine motor skills and even higher academic achievement. 

But perhaps the greatest impact happens beyond metrics. As Lucivjansky shared, " Music helps build strong peer relationships and well as self-confidence. In class, we have to learn to work together as partners, in sections, and as a whole group. Peers help each other learn and improve skills as we work towards a performance. The hard work pays off when students are able to reflect on their achievements during a concert. " 

This powerful self-discovery fuels the drive for lifelong growth and infinite possibility – which is at the heart of YES Prep's mission for all students. By providing quality music education from an early age, we nurture the well-rounded, creative thinkers that our city and the world need.

As Music in Our Schools Month reminds us, the arts deserve celebration alongside core academics when building a transformative, opportunity-filled education. At YES Prep, we proudly strive for that balance through engaging, equitable music programming that develops and inspires Houston's next generation of leaders. 

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