A couple of times a week at Journey Middle School, an enthusiastic and noisy group of students gets together to play music. It’s a joyful noise — a cacophony of sound, a wall of music.
Eighty students in Grades 6 and 8 happily trudge to the music room to learn and dream of becoming musicians.
Lorna Bjorklund is the band conductor and she knows the impact that music can have on youth.
“It becomes a life long interest, it is building focus and connections in the brain,” said Bjorklund. “It’s worthwhile for kids.”
Studies have shown how kids who learn music are more adept at subjects such as math and science. They have learned discipline and that helps in other areas as well as music.
Katie, one of the Grade 6 students said, “it’s very relaxing, it helps me calm down after a rough day.”
Other students said they wanted to eventually play in an orchestra, or to play the violin professionally.
Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra violinist Anne McDougall is volunteering her time twice a week and she said it was a “wonderful thing” for students as they learn discipline, work as a team and develop problem solving skills.
Arman said it is a fun way to pass the time and Hunter said he liked playing all the different sounds.
So far it is Grade 6 and 7 students in band, but Bjorklund is setting a goal to have band put into the timetable for students in Grade 8.
The band students are planning a field trip to Vancouver this April and on Feb. 25 they held a bottle drive to raise money for expenses. They also did some busking in Langford earlier in the month. They could still use some help.
Spearheading the fundraising campaign is Debbie Qayum, the band president. She has been with Bjorklund for the past four years. She said the kids will be playing in schools and taking a workshop.
“It’s really important, if you make band a career, you travel and it is a good way for the kids to bond,” said Qayum.
The band is trying to raise $2,000 and so far they have raised $600 from a karaoke event.
“We’re getting there, we’re on our way,” she said.