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Guelph Community Christian School wins national music award

Written on July 6th, 2009

Award affirms school’s commitment to music program

Guelph Community Christian School (GCCS) and music teacher Susanne Wood won the Kodaly Society of Canada Music Education Excellence Award for the elementary school’s music program.

The award recognizes schools where all students receive music instruction, music teachers have specialized music and education expertise, traditional and composed music is incorporated into the program and students receive 60 minutes or more of music instruction per week.

Principal Bob Moore says there seems to be a trend that as schools try to save money and cut their budgets music and art end up on the chopping block, yet those areas can enhance a child’s school experience and learning in other subjects.

GCCS is committed to education in the arts with the belief that it fits with the Christian worldview and is part of educating the whole child, says Moore.

“Our board is committed to that program and we spend some significant money every year to maintain our music program,” he says.

According to a press release from the Kodaly Society of Canada, “research conducted throughout North America has consistently shown the significant impact that music has on the development of a child’s brain.”

Wood, the school’s music specialist, comes into the school two days a week and provides the classroom teacher prep time while the students are exposed to a high quality of music. She teaches kindergarten to Grade 6, and prepares the students for the Grade 7 and 8 band class. Wood also leads junior and senior extracurricular choirs, which often sing at community events.

Moore says Wood adds the spark to the school’s music program, as she has the personality and a love for the Lord and music that shines through.

“I was really excited to get the award, music is my love and to teach music is a joy in my life so it was just affirming and it was also exciting for the whole school,” Wood tells the OACS News.

“Anything that can help promote Christian education is wonderful, especially in this day and age when some schools are struggling, it’s just great to have that affirmation,” she says.

She says along with music helping students with their other subjects, it is also another language to worship the creator.
During the school’s May 8 grandparents day, Moore says he had grandparents tell him how moved they were by the musical program.

One grandfather said the music was so wonderful it brought tears to his eyes, and offered that if the school needed money to start up a project to give him a call. Another guest from that day is donating $13,000 to the school.

“We didn’t go knocking on these doors, honestly, Mrs. Wood is something else, and she moves the children and they respond to her and the spirit of God, and other people as they watch and listen can’t help but respond, (it’s) very moving,” says Moore.

GCCS is one of 13 schools from Alberta to Newfoundland to Inuvik to be awarded with a Music Education Excellence certificate for 2008-2009 and gift certificates from industry sponsors.

The Kodaly Society of Canada is a non-profit, professional organization of music educators. To learn more, visit www.kodalysocietyofcanada.ca.