Xylophones, metallophones, and glockenspiels – these are just some of the new additions to the music program at Annie Foote School, but the new instruments are not only making their mark in music class.

Annie Foote has a large population of students who are English Language Learners (ELL), and finding opportunities for these students to connect to their studies and peers in engaging, familiar ways is enormously beneficial to their mastery of a new language.  By introducing aspects of music into both language arts and math classes, Annie Foote’s teachers have created a dynamic learning environment for all students, and have seen benefits for the whole school.

By putting popular early reading books to music, students were able to better understand the story: for example, Lucille Colandro’s  “There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Clover” provided opportunities for students to link characters, events, and ideas to different musical motifs which were then played at the appropriate times during the story.  The motif’s made it easy for students to learn the words and understand the story, as well as making the entire process fun and engaging.  Similarly, music provided an enhancement to math learning through comparing ascending and descending notes to counting, or linking forte and pianissimo to the concepts of volume.

Outside of class, students have been able to showcase their newfound musical talents in assemblies; “we had more excellent performers in our talent show this spring than ever before!” said Susanne Zilkie, the Principal of Annie Foote School.  Through an EducationMatters grant he music program was able to add 19 new instruments to their classrooms, increasing student confidence, knowledge, and opportunities to connect with each other in the process.  As the foundation for the Calgary Board of Education (CBE), EducationMatters is committed to investing in our future leaders to give them the skills that they need to succeed after graduation; your support of these students is making a difference today that will resonate for generations to come.  Thank you!

The impact that music has within CBE schools is immense and continues to transcend traditional school culture. With your support, we can continue to fund programs such as the one in Annie Foote School and the Music Therapy program in West Dover School, and continue to significantly enhance language development and verbal competency for many students!