By training and education I am a theologian and an accountant. By passion I am a music educator. Why a school of music? In retrospect, this organization has its genesis in me from childhood. I remember wanting to play an instrument from an early age. Poverty prevented me from doing so. My single mother simply could not fit music into the mix of our limited resources. The strong desire towards making music went unfilled until I turned 18 and my church decided to start a small band. I quickly adopted the trumpet (it was the only instrument left) and have never looked backed. West Point School of Music was birth so that no poor children would ever know the despair I felt because of the absence of opportunity to study music
Music has many wonderful demonstrated benefits as well. Studies have shown that a solid music education:
- Improves the atmosphere for learning, helping students achieve in other academic subjects like math, science and reading.
- Keeps students engaged in school and less likely to drop out
- Develops critical and analytical thinking skills, fosters creative problem solving, effective communication and teamwork.
- Helps student to express themselves in verbal and non-verbal ways.
- Helps students to develop a high level of self-awareness and self-confidence (adopted from www.supportmusic.com – Keep Music Strong).
The urban education landscape can use all the help possible. There are thousands of principals and teachers doing good work every day under some extremely difficult circumstances. Budget constraints have led many schools to suspend or eliminate arts programs entirely. It has become necessary for organizations like West Point and private funders who understand the benefits of a music education to make up the difference for the sake to our children.
Thank you for partnering with us in this great work. Your support means the world to the staff at West Point and the young people we serve.
Julian J. Champion
Founding Executive Director
West Point School of Music