Stone believes music education is vital to young students

(04-09-2009)

Tamiya Stone, sophomore Adams State music education major, is so dedicated to her academic career, and her future as a music teacher, she is currently taking three courses, she won't receive credit for.

"I am enrolled for 20 credit hours, I couldn't afford, financially, to add more so I am taking steel drums, music theater, and chamber choir, not-for-credit, because I think it will make me a better teacher."

According to Stone, her high school music teacher inspired her to become a teacher. She is a big advocate of music in the school system. At a Colorado Music Education Association (CMEA) conference she learned that research has shown students who are active in some type of music score, on average, 15 points higher on standard tests. "Studies have shown students who practice piano or percussion are more apt to have the right and left sides of their brains balanced."

Along with being a music education advocate, Stone loves to sing. After voice lessons, Stone said she "feels really pumped. Your hard work shows off in the performance. Singing is as important to me as breathing. If I don't sing one day, I feel something is missing. It is a good outlet." She said she enjoys singing classical music because it "shows off your skills" and is more of a challenge than popular music.

"Tamiya is a delightful student to work with, said Dr. Beth Wagstrom, Adams State choir director, said. "She is very dedicated to her musical training and always approaches any challenges with a positive attitude. She will make a wonderful music educator."

Stone said music performances are rewarding and allow her to "be a part of the masterpiece. Performing makes notes on paper become music." She works eight hours a week in the music lab and participates in the Rocky Mountain Steel Drum ensemble and Chamber and Concert Choirs.

The Adams State College Music Department's percussion concert is April 21 and the choir concert is April 24. Call 719-587-7621 for more information.

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By Linda Relyea