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Music in our schools

  • Published
  • By R.J. Oriez
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs
The Winds of Freedom, a wind ensemble with the U.S. Air Force Heartland of America Band out of Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., marked "Music in our Schools Month" by touring Wyoming giving 10 concerts in five days in Laramie, Rawlins and Cheyenne. Included in those concerts were performances at the F. E. Warren Child Development Center and Freedom Elementary School.

Music in our Schools Month is sponsored by the National Association for Music Education with the stated goal of raising awareness of the importance of music education for all children.

Cindy Schmid, Freedom Elementary School music specialist, stresses that music education has benefits beyond the music itself.

"It's the key to everything," Schmid said. "Because, when boys and girls learn a steady beat, that helps develop mathematical and language arts concepts. So that is extremely important."

"Music has been a part of my life since I was a kid," said Master Sgt. Hughey Hancock, Winds of Freedom horn player. "It was always an important part of my education. By the time I was in fourth or fifth grade, I knew that music was going to be part of my life."

Schmid also talked of the importance of having groups such as The Winds of Freedom visit schools.

"I went to a concert like this when I was a fifth grader," Schmid said. "I didn't know what all the instruments were, or what the people were doing, but I looked up there and thought that was the greatest thing in the world. I thought to myself 'I want to do that someday.'"

Hancock reported that the ensemble has been warmly welcomed on their tour.

"It's been great here," Hancock said. "We've had small audiences, we've had big audiences and all of them have been great! We've been well received."

While Hancock complimented the audiences, Schmid had rave reviews for the group.

"They are excellent," she said.