CHOCTAW — For Bonnie Sneed, the effects of music education last long past the time a song's final note fades.
That's why, at the start of her second year as the director of choirs at Choctaw High School, Sneed is thinking up unusual ways to teach her students.
Like calling on the community to donate their extra electric keyboards so her students can practice reading music and play as well as sing.
“My priority is to give them a great musical experience,” Sneed said. “This is part of putting that together.”
Being musically literate is important, she said. “We want to keep growing this literary artistry.”
And while singing and choir is an artistic endeavor, Sneed said she's learned in her more than 20 years of teaching — at the college and the high school level — that music education helps make students successful in life.
“You're reading the music, you're thinking about the words and the poetry behind the words, and you're also trying to connect with your audience all simultaneous to each other,” she said.
This teaches students how to think and listen, to work together and to multitask, skills employers in any field would look for in an employee, she said.
Having her students perform with professionals also inspires and encourages the amateurs.