AMI Mini Campus
As music educators, we are concerned about the decline in funding for music education in our public schools over the last decade. Just as researchers have been finding that studying music helps K-12 students with reading, math, language acquisition and problem-solving skills, the difficult climate of school funding has made music education opportunities scarce in our schools. This is something we want to help change.
As the public purse continues to shrink, schools need to offer solid educational opportunities with fewer resources. We believe that the AMI Mini Campus is part of the solution. Through this program, we can bring music lessons and music education into schools throughout the Chicago area.
As a music nonprofit offering individual and group music lessons, a summer camp, a youth orchestra, and Saturday conservatory-style program to students throughout Chicago, IL, AMI is uniquely placed to bring music education robustly back into schools curriculum to work within schools budget or parent based tuition. That’s right; the AMI Mini Campus can renew the life of music in your school without creating a new cost to school budgets. More importantly, you can offer parents a more robust education for their children. Parents and schools can make the decision together of who will incur the cost of our program.
An AMI Mini Campus can bring a music program to your school made up from the following components, designed to fit your particular school’s needs…
- General Music Ed & Early Music Ed
- Early Music Ed Class
- Music Appreciation Class
- Group Instrument Class
- Orchestra / Band / Choir
- Chamber Music
- Genre Classes: jazz, folk, world, pop
- Masterclass or Clinic
- Group Piano (if piano lab is available)
- Rock ‘n Jam Class
- Private Lessons (scheduled outside of classes)
- and more…
For what kinds of students is an AMI Mini Campus suitable?
We feel that the program is best suited for students from Pre K – 8th grade (ages 3 – 13). But we think it can broadly include: preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, and junior high school. AMI has extensive experience with students in these age groups and can also provide specialized teaching for special needs students and students with disabilities.
Where does an AMI Mini Campus program take place?
The core idea is for the program to take place on school property, either during school hours or after school. A school can be a public school, a private school, or the site of a nonprofit providing educational service. AMI can also provide classes at one of our campuses. We look to administrators, teachers, and parents to tell us where and when the program can be held.
Who pays for an AMI Mini Campus program?
AMI is a nonprofit but still has costs: teaching fees, administrative costs, and supplies. Given the budgetary restrictions schools face, public and private, our program will have a participation fee from either the school, parents or outside organizations. Parents who have been dismayed at the decline in music and arts education in their children’s schools will now have an alternative.
Why Music in Schools is Great for Kids
- Children who study music tend to have larger vocabularies and more advanced reading skills than their peers who do not participate in music lessons.
- Schools with music programs have an estimated 90.2% graduation rate and 93.9% attendance rate compared to schools without music education, which average 72.9% graduation and 84.9% attendance.
- A study by E. Glenn Schellenberg at the University of Toronto at Mississauga, as published in a 2004 issue of Psychological Science, found a small increase in the IQs of six-year-olds who were given weekly voice and piano lessons. Schellenberg provided nine months of piano and voice lessons to a dozen six-year-olds, drama lessons (to see if exposure to arts in general versus just music had an effect) to a second group of six-year-olds, and no lessons to a third group. The children’s IQs were tested before entering the first grade, then again before entering the second grade.Surprisingly, the children who were given music lessons over the school year tested on average three IQ points higher than the other groups. The drama group didn’t have the same increase in IQ but did experience increased social behavior benefits not seen in the music-only group. 
- A Canadian study of 48 preschoolers and published in 2011, found that verbal IQ increased after only 20 days of music training. In fact, the increase was five times that of a control group of preschoolers, who were given visual art lessons, says lead researcher Sylvain Moreno, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. He found that music training enhanced the children’s “executive function” — that is, their brains’ ability to plan, organize, strategize and solve problems. And he found the effect in 90% of the children, an unusually high rate.
1. Arete Music Academy. “Statistical benefits of music in education.” Arete Music Academy.
2. The National Association for Music Education. “Music Makes the Grade.” The National Association for Music Education.
3. Laura Lewis Brown, “The Benefits of Music Education,” PBS Parents.
4. Joanne Lipman, “A Musical Fix for American Schools,” The Wall Street Journal.