Sisters Declare Music Is ‘Good For You,’ Then They Prove It

Part one is done, and a pair of music crusaders since have moved on to part two — but not before sparking some interest among children touching an instrument for the first time.

“We both love music and play multiple instruments,” explained sisters Presley and Alexa Anderson, who have been active students at Kailua Intermediate School and its band program. Now working on their Girl Scout Gold Award through Troop 709, the girls believe everybody should love music, that it’s good for them, and that it changes lives.


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Hannah Dela Vega (left) learns about the clarinet with help from Presley Anderson (center) and Max Arakaki.

They recently coordinated a day of hands-on music workshops for youths in grades 5-7 in the school cafeteria. The July 6 “Youth Fine Arts Bonanza” offered more than 15 skilled volunteer clinicians (on both instruments and vocals), backed up with clarinets, saxophones, trombones, flutes, drums, tubas and trumpets.

The school, its band boosters and JN Productions all were partners in Bonanza, which will be followed by teaching kits to replicate the effort. “We will send these teaching packets out to schools, organizations and people who work specifically with youths, especially those at high risk,” the Andersons declared.

And they’ve done their homework. For parents and for all public school budget cutters poised to slash more fine arts money, they have an urgent message:

Students with four years of art and music classes score higher on their SATs; 20 percent of Kailua High scholarships went to band students (representing 5 percent of the 2014 graduating class); extracurricular activities like band “keep kids out of trouble” and — especially for all vice principals out there — students who study the arts are “more cooperative with their teachers and peers.”

A video of the Bonanza will be included with the kits, which should fulfill requirements of the prestigeous Gold Award “to identify a real community need and a way to address that need in a sustainable way.”