Changing Lives with Music: Stephen Oliverson

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Dr. Stephen Oliverson is principal of Provost Elementary in Provo, Utah. In 2014, Provost was named a National Title I Distinguished School, one of only 59 schools nationwide to receive this honor. What was Dr. Oliverson’s secret to this success? The answer (which is no surprise to us): music. The instructional day was rearranged so that every student at Provost received musical enrichment.  This led to increased proficiency in math, science, and reading, long with a host of other benefits.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In Oliverson’s interview with the Provo Daily Herald, he shared his secret for academic success:

“We do a couple of things that are really unique to our school. That is our involvement in the arts. Exposing children deeply in the arts has academic payoffs in literacy and math.

Every student at our school knows how to play the piano, violin, flute and guitar. The whole fourth grade takes violin lessons four days a week, all year long. We expose students to other instruments in fifth and sixth grade after they have that strong string base.”

Daily Herald, February, 2014

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In his presentation at the 2015 National Title I Conference, Oliverson detailed the benefits of a curriculum rich in musical instruction.

  • Flourishes artistic and personal expression
  • Promotes motor task competency
  • Linked to greater likelihood of graduation
  • Sharpens cognitive function
  • Develops superior reading ability
  • Enhances social skills
  • It makes your GPA better
  • Improves emotional outlook
  • Protective against dementia
  • Significant predictor of of higher IQ in early adulthood

Stephen Oliverson and Lauri Driggs, 2014 Title I Conference Presentation

 [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Beyond his successes as a principal, Oliverson and his family are accomplised musical performers in their own right. He plays the piano and composes, and all of his children play violin. Moon Light is the name of the family’s musical group; they perform across the country. Here they are performing an original composition (written by Dr. Oliverson and his daughter, Aubree) tiled Spartacus. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://youtu.be/nuOk51atkWY”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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