Hello, my name is Myra Hicks. I am a 10th grader at City Neighbors  High School in Baltimore Maryland. This is my testimony on how I became a better student in math because of the band. 

It was one sunny morning on my first day of school in the fourth grade. I got to class and the teacher introduced herself as Miss Jackson. Miss Jackson was my math teacher. 

In the middle of my independent work time, a group of middle school students came in with an older man and started talking about the band and how we could join. After they explained everything they started handing out permission slips and information packets, and the whole class started talking. At this point, I was excited like I was dancing in my seat.

At home, I took the permission slip and the information packet out of my bookbag and gave them to my mom. She read it over and asked which instrument I wanted to play? My first Choice was the oboe. My second choice, if they didn’t have any oboes available, was the flute. She signed the permission slip and gave me the $35 that I needed to pay for the instrument. The only catch was that once I started the band I couldn’t quit and I was like ok.

The next day in math class, as Miss Jackson was explaining multiplication I was lost and confused. It was like she was speaking gibberish. Multiplication was one of the few things I struggled with in the fourth grade.

Later that day I had my first band meeting, and the band teacher introduced himself as Mr.Gold. His room smelled like coffee. He told us that before we could play any songs we had to learn how to put the flute together, learn the different notes, and their note values. 

After spending some time in Mr. Gold’s class, I began to realize that the math I was doing in the band was the same kind of math that we were learning in Miss Jackson’s class. For example, 1 dotted half note equals 3 beats, and if 2 dotted half notes were put together then it will equal 6 beats. Note values help musicians keep their rhythm.

Before I joined the band, I hated multiplication because I wasn’t good at it. When I tell people that back then I really struggled with math they just stare at me shocked because now it’s like I’m a human calculator.  Since joining the band, I never leave home without my flute. This is my story of how the arts found me.

Thank you for listening.