Callaway pushes focus on arts

Published 8:30 pm Monday, May 6, 2019

Last Thursday, Callaway High School hosted the school’s inaugural Music in the Park(ing) Lot event, which drew a good crowd to watch and listen to members of both high school and middle school – as well as a group of students from Hogansville Elementary School – perform set lists of music. The event was created by Callaway High School band, chorus, guitar and music technology teacher Adam Wamsley as a way to develop interest in the elementary and middle school students in the arts.

Wamsley, who has been with Callaway for eight years, hoped to attract younger students to music and the arts through the event, because of the importance he believes the subjects can have on students’ lives and for the growth of the school’s program as a whole.

“I think it’s really important for the growth of the fine arts program to get kids involved and see what’s going on from early ages,” Wamsley said. “I think this is an important thing to create unity within the Callaway zone.”

Food, drinks and a plethora of gaming options, including a mobile video game truck, provided for a unique event and one that catered to the whims of elementary and middle schoolers.

Studies have consistently shown that a strong arts program in elementary, middle and high schools can and do lead to students developing creative problem skills, one of the most sought-after intangible skills in the job market today. A strong arts program can also help students develop motor skills, language skills, decision-making and creative thinking. A strong art program, in sum, can be an instrumental tool in preparing students for whatever the future may hold for them, to a career as an artist, graduate school or the business world.

The evening at Callaway was a success, for all intents and purposes. The students currently taking part in the music programs the schools have to offer were able to display the work they have been attempting to master this year, and those in attendance were able to bear witness to that. Undoubtedly, younger students had their interest piqued by the performance.

This is an important step, to draw interest and increase the number of students taking part in the arts. However, it is also important to recognize and acknowledge the impact that music and the arts as a whole can have on a student in preparation for college or the business world. Schools are consistently focusing on how best to improve students for the real world, and an involvement with those students’ local music and arts programs can certainly help.