HORSE CAVE — Caverna Independent Schools has been hosting an after-school music camp for students in grades 5-8 this week at Caverna Middle School.
Jeff Williams, a music teacher in his first year at Caverna, said the purpose of this camp is to “spark an interest in music.”
“A lot of kids don’t have the opportunity to do music on a regular basis,” he said. “So we structured this week to get them exposed to things like band and choir.
“We’re going to sing songs as a choir, and they’re learning about the instruments as we go throughout the week. The whole point is to expose them to things that maybe they haven’t had an experience with.”
Williams is being assisted by Grayson Martin, a sophomore music education major at Murray State who came up with the idea for this camp last summer, and Lily Williams, a sophomore music major at Western Kentucky University.
Exposing students to music has been very rewarding, Martin said.
“Just working with the kids and being able to help them see a new world of music, that’s been the best thing for me,” he said. “Every student should have music education in their lives, and be able to see the world differently as music and the wonders that it brings to them.”
Lily Williams said this experience has helped her learn how to work with kids, adding that music can have a really big impact on people’s lives.
In addition to Martin and Lily Williams, students from Caverna High School are also helping out.
CHS sophomore Chelsea Dubert, who is in the choir and also plays tuba and percussion in the band, said the camp has been a lot of fun and she’s been able to meet “some really cool kids who I’m hoping will stick with the music program.”
“Seeing the kids grow within the music” has been one of Dubert’s most rewarding moments while teaching the students.
Jeff Williams said he has really enjoyed seeing the enthusiasm and excitement in the eyes of the students, “just seeing them react and respond in a positive way to music.”
“I love that,” Williams said. “I’ve had so many kids say, ‘I can’t wait to be in band,’ or ‘I can’t wait to be in choir.’”
Williams said music can help build students’ confidence in themselves.
“Not everybody can dribble and throw a ball,” he said. “Not everybody comes to school because they love math, and English, and science and social studies.
“I think every child needs a niche, some kind of activity that they’re interested in and want to be a part of. A lot of kids come to school because they’re in band or they’re in choir and have the chance to perform music.”
Everybody has a capacity to learn music, Williams said.
“I believe two things,” he said. “I believe smart kids are attracted to music, and I believe music makes you smarter — it just makes you a more well-rounded human being.”