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MINDFUL MUSIC MOMENTS Makes Central Ohio Debut at Pickerington Elementary

MINDFUL MUSIC MOMENTS Makes Central Ohio Debut at Pickerington ElementaryOn January 16, Pickerington Elementary became the first central Ohio school to implement Mindful Music Moments, a daily mindfulness and classical music program that promotes student focus. Backed by the Columbus Symphony, with additional support from CAPA and Opera Columbus, 460 students in grades K-6 listen to four minutes of recorded classical music and relaxation prompts at the start of each school day during morning announcements. Part music appreciation and part stress-reduction techniques, the program offers insight on the composers and music history while taking a moment to calm students' minds and prepare them to learn.

"This is a daily mindfulness and classical music program that creates a more calm, focused, and balanced start to the school day," explains Stacy Sims, founder of Mindful Music Moments. "Many children never get the chance to disengage from the constant, stress-inducing stimuli surrounding them. Finding inner calmness helps students access healthy brain processes, and as a result, they are better prepared to focus on schoolwork, discipline issues are reduced, and overall health is improved."

Each week begins with a new classical music composition carefully selected by the Columbus Symphony, CAPA, or Opera Columbus. Selections may reflect upcoming performances of those organizations or works incorporated into their own youth music education programs.

"The Columbus Symphony, CAPA, and Opera Columbus are very excited to help spearhead the development and implementation of this exciting program in central Ohio," stated Jeani Stahler, director of education for the Columbus Symphony and CAPA. "We believe that enabling students and their teachers to begin the school day with focused music-listening and a quiet look inward will set the stage for success - and we are proud to be a part of it."

Already in place in nearly 60 schools in Cincinnati and Cleveland, Pickerington Elementary is the first central Ohio school to implement Mindful Music Moments. The program was recommended by a school counselor after attending a recent conference at which Sims was a speaker.

"We feel this is going to be a great way to get these kids started on the right foot each and every school day so they can relax, be calm, and take stress off their minds," said Pickerington Elementary Principal Melissa Moriarty. "Teaching students and staff members how to slow down and clear stress from their minds will promote mental tranquility and focus."

For more information on Mindful Music Moments, visit www.CitySilence.org.

Photo credit: Marisa Glusich

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