With crayons and markers students drew music notes, flowers, and hearts on the bags. They cut out and glued on notes about how much they love music and why music is important. Some even hummed tunes while they worked.
And now they’re ready to share that message with Harding’s customers. Harding’s donated 600 brown grocery bags and McFall music teacher Brittany Brown will return them to the store where customers can carry out their purchases in a one-of-a-kind grocery bag.
Brown said music is important for all students in many different ways. “Research shows it helps improve reading and math test scores. It helps students practice and learn their speech sounds and identify rhyming words. It also builds vocabulary, memorization, and improves critical thinking skills,” she said.
She said most students learn their ABC’s by singing the song and it’s an easy way to learn other things as well. “Music has so many benefits. We know that it helps calm students and can help them stay focused. Music allows movement and can build self-esteem and leadership skills.”
This is Brown’s first year as the music teacher and only the second year for McFall to have a full-time music program for all students.
Brown said she wanted to do something to help everyone understand the benefits of music at all ages. She hopes decorating the bags for community use will remind everyone how important music is and how much her students love music.
“It makes your brain good,” said one kindergarten student as he decorated his bag and sang “Miss Mary Mack.”
Others said they like to dance and sing. Some enjoy playing different instruments like the drums and rhythm sticks.
The celebration of music in our schools was created by the National Association of Music Education. This year marks the 30th year celebration of music in schools.
Thornapple Kellogg Schools has music available at all grade levels. McFall has a full-time music program. Lee and Page elementary share one teacher with each school having music for half of the year. The high school and middle school have choir and band opportunities for all students.
“This is just one way of letting the community know how much we love and need music in our schools,” said Brown. “We hope everyone asks for a paper bag and loves the decorations from our McFall students.”