, Kingston, NH

Special Features

August 15, 2013

Extracurricular activities need not involve sports



Some youngsters might not know the difference between a first down or the first inning. But many kids who are not inclined to play sports may be inclined to play a musical instrument. And some kids are inclined to play both a sport and try their hand at music. Many school music programs have fallen victim to governmental budget cuts, leaving students who want to play an instrument without a proper introduction to music or an opportunity to play. Parents must therefore make that introduction on their own, discussing kids’ attitudes toward music with them. That discussion should include asking kids if they would like to play a specific instrument or be part of a choir.

In addition to giving kids a creative outlet, music may even benefit them in the classroom. Stanford University researchers found that musical training improves how the brain processes the spoken word. In addition, in an analysis of data on more than 25,000 secondary school students, researchers at the United States Department of Education found that students who report consistent involvement in instrumental music during middle school and high school perform significantly better in mathematics by grade 12 than those who do not participate in music programs.


Many students live in communities that allow them to work once they reach high school age. While working might not be as fun as playing an instrument, getting a job can teach high school students valuable lessons they will carry with them throughout their lives. Even though high school students only work part-time, such a work schedule can still teach them the importance of money management and the valuable lesson of reaping what you sow.

High school students can save their money to finance their college educations or purchase their first cars, each of which can teach them the value of saving money. Working in high school also can prepare students for college, where many will need to work in order to support themselves.

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