“The music master familiarizes children’s minds with rhythms and melodies, thus making them more civilized, more balanced, better adjusted in themselves, and more capable in whatever they say or do, for rhythm and harmony are essential to the whole of life.”
– Plato (428-348 BC)
Seraphic Fire’s Miami Choral Academy, in partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, is a tuition-free afterschool program serving elementary students and their families in economically disadvantaged communities of Miami-Dade County. By establishing youth choruses that employ a music education curriculum at local elementary schools and involving parents and families, MCA aims to affect positive academic and social change in participating students’ lives. MCA’s music integration curriculum focuses on making connections between music, math, language arts, history, movement, theater and visual arts.
The Miami Choral Academy aims to:
- share the joy of singing through a league of youth choirs
- improve singer’s self-confidence and discipline through intensive ensemble participation
- facilitate greater engagement between school, student and family
- instill life-long values of teamwork, dedication and a superior work ethic in the classroom and in the rehearsal hall
- facilitate academic success through an integrated academic enrichment program
- demonstrate and teach vocal excellence
Research published by Chorus America in its June 2009 Chorus Impact Study shows there are numerous academic and social benefits resulting from a child’s participation in a choral ensemble. The study also illustrated that choral participation cultivates positive attributes in singers, which in turn, benefits communities. The findings explicitly examined the effects that choral singing has on childhood development and concluded that children who sing in choruses have academic success and gain valuable life skills. Additionally, both parents and educators attribute a significant part of a child’s academic success to singing in a choir.
Each participating child has opportunity to audition for Miami Choral Academy’s “all-star” choirs. These ensembles will give students the opportunity to focus on more challenging repertoire and allow for collaborations with Miami’s professional arts organizations.
The Choral Academy’s long-term goal is to see large-scale participation in free choral ensembles throughout the country, with city, regional, state and national honor choirs creating a sense of connectedness among ensembles across the nation. In addition the Miami Choral Academy ensembles seek to become centers of comprehensive Music-in-Education programs designed to benefit whole school communities, with special attention to academically or socially challenged youth.