Young people are being urged to immerse themselves in music and musical instruments as an alternative to deviant behaviour.
Over the weekend, 35 youth were inducted into the Seventh Day Adventist Pathfinder Band as part of Intake 15, during the band’s annual passing-out parade on the grounds of the Barbados SDA Secondary School.
The graduating recruits displayed newly acquired musical skills with instruments such as the saxophone, clarinet and others. They also wowed parents, guardians and Minister of Social Partnership Relations, Colin Jordan, with precise military drill displays.
During her charge to parents, Secretary of the President of the East Caribbean Conference of Seventh Day Adventists Imogene McCallum outlined an array of benefits which young people could garner from immersing themselves in music.
“Scientific research has proven that musical training builds intellectual skills, raises IQ, improves memory and develops creativity. Children who play a musical instrument do better on average in school than those who don’t. It also teaches discipline. Music students learn that if they apply themselves, they can master a skill and achieve results they want. Learning to play a musical instrument teaches them discipline, the value of persistence and the reward of hard work,” she said.
McCallum added that involvement in musical programs was also likely to reduce youth deviance.
“Studies have shown that musical students are involved in fewer disciplinary problems, less crime and less substance abuse than non-musical students. It also increases your self-esteem. Music is a [form of] self-expression. Performing in public, whether individually or in a group, builds confidence. Music helps calm the mind; it’s been shown that music students experience less stress,” she added.
Outstanding recruits received awards. Hasana Paris was awarded Most Improved, Tyrelle Ward was recognised for Best Attendance and Javed Medford was given the coveted title of Best Recruit.
While delivering the feature address, Minister of Labour and Social Partnership Relations Colin Jordan reminded the young recruits it was their duty to positively influence the community through their musical talents.
“The journey for you new recruits involves playing instruments as part of the Pathfinder Band, but that is the basic part of the journey,” said Jordan.
“The journey involves using skills and talents that have been given to you by God, which you have chosen to use and develop. The journey involves understanding that you are the stewards of the gifts that God has given to you and so as good stewards, you have chosen to use and develop the talents that you have been given.
“Playing an instrument is not an end in itself. Playing an instrument as part of the Pathfinder Band makes sense only if your intention is to minister, uplift, to motivate and to serve. Your playing is not for personal glory, it is not for fame, it is to benefit others,” he reminded them.
Minister Jordan also assured the recruits that the Government and the people of Barbados recognized their role in developing young people and their community in the process of nation building. (KS)