Quotes from Parents

Parent Testimonials

posted Jan 5, 2009, 1:53 PM by Wendy Higdon   [ updated Dec 19, 2011, 4:34 PM ]

Year after year, parents tell us how much the performing arts experience has helped their student. 

Below is a sampling of parent testimonials.  

My sixth grade son has enjoyed his first year in band more than I could have ever imagined. He started the summer by attending the band camp at Carmel Middle School, and I was very impressed at how much he learned in such a short amount of time. He then just practiced on his own over the summer (no additional lessons), and has done beautifully in band this year. He loves to practice, and often goes over the "required" amount of time, just because he enjoys it. For his first concert, he had 4 grandparents and 2 great grandparents attend, and they, too, could not believe how much a group of sixth graders had learned in just a few short months. I truly believe he will continue in band throughout high school and his younger brother is already discussing what instrument he would like to play in a few years! ~Ann Stock

Many parents wonder about performing arts and how it will help their children.  We have two children that have graduated Carmel High School and both started their performing arts activities in 6th grade with Middle School Band.  As parents, we cannot say enough about the positive impact that band had on both our children.  The Middle School Band programs at Carmel, Creekside and Clay are wonderfully run programs that give students an excellent introduction into music.  Music helped our children get through their middle school and high school years.  It gave them an outlet for creativity, taught them time management and teamwork and allowed them to forge lifelong friendships.  Perhaps most importantly, music gave them a place to belong.  They did not get lost in the cracks so to speak.  We found it invaluable that our children were involved in extracurricular activities to help prepare them for college and adulthood.  Finally, Music is a terrific way for parents to be involved.  There are ample opportunities to volunteer and be a part of things. ~  Tony and Lynn Johnson

The music programs at Creekside are incredible!  Our children have participated in band as well as orchestra, and both groups provided them the opportunity to learn, perform, and excel.   As students transition from elementary to middle school, joining one of these groups makes it easier to make new friends and interact with a great group of teachers. ~ Heidi and Mike Muller

All three of my children have benefited in various ways from the Creekside Performing Arts department.  My son Eric is now a member of the Freshmen Concert Orchestra at the high school.  He is thrilled to be a part of this fine group, and has continued to gain a wonderful appreciation for music and the satisfaction of belonging to a group that excels at their skills.  I believe playing in a band or orchestra is like being on a sports team for the great benefits of learning to work with others and pursuing a common goal.   My daughter Anna played oboe during her 6th, 7th, and 8th grade years and built a discipline for scheduling her time efficiently so she could rehearse and complete other assignments.   My daughter Claire now plays flute as a 7th grader and also enjoys growing as a musician.  She benefits by gleaning knowledge from her classmates and also helping others when they are unsure of a fingering, rhythm, or key signature.  Learning can happen in various directions and Creekside's music program encourages that.  I am so grateful that our children wanted to explore music at Creekside.  Both Mrs. Higdon and Mrs. Sendi are amazing instructors and mentors and make learning an instrument an enjoyable experience.  ~  Nancy Lawler


As a parent of two former middle school band students, I would like to take this opportunity to share our experiences.  Middle school band provides a unique opportunity for a student to learn an entirely new world of music. Students enjoy the opportunity to be with and make new friends throughout the middle school years; friendships that continue through high school.  Band teaches students how to balance and maintain a practice schedule, which includes the satisfaction of becoming better at playing an instrument; dedication and time management are developed. My children enjoyed the experience of learning how to read music and it is a skill that persists throughout life. Band also teaches students how to work together as a team to achieve a common goal of a great performance, which is enjoyable not only for the students but the parents, too! I felt proud to see my children on the stage performing, from those first “squeaks” to the fabulous 8th grade concerts! ~ Sandy Wojcik


Four years ago, my daughter began playing clarinet at Creekside Middle School.  This was her first experience with a musical instrument, and she has enjoyed it immensely.  I have enjoyed watching her learn something from scratch, and she has continually improved her abilities through practice.  The process of learning to play an instrument has given her self confidence, and also the knowledge that she can accomplish whatever she wants if she is willing to work at it.  She continues to play clarinet in the Freshman Band and marching band at Carmel High School.  She has made many new friends through her involvement in the bands, and that has also helped her transition into high school.  She still loves to play, and enjoys performing in concerts, and playing “cool” songs.  ~ Cyndy Henry


I can write whole heartedly about the Orchestra’s influence in our family life.  Our oldest son played the violin beginning in 6th grade through 12th grade. The experience was wonderful and Jeremy’s talent will be a lifelong pleasure. I was impressed by the depth and quality developed through those years, while still allowing for other areas of life to grow.

The Carmel Orchestra program stayed “balanced”...
        in practice requirements – developing the discipline of a little each day to make the weekly goal.
        in private lessons – encouraged, affordable and worthwhile.
        in the frequency and the length of the concerts – a pleasure for the parents and students, each time.        
        in Solo Ensemble competitions – optional and challenging, became great confidence-builders.

The orchestra teachers were wonderful to work with and friendships came naturally with the other parents through the 7 years. One of Jeremy’s favorite teachers, Mrs. Sendi, taught at Carmel High School and is now teaching my sixth grade daughter, at Creekside Middle School! I am soooo thankful for this opportunity for Julia.  Grateful, Kae Mentz

*One more memory...in ‘03 Carmel’s Orchestra was invited to play at Carnegie Hall, in New York City. They invited Jeremy to join them in the performance! Great privileges come with great responsibilities, as Carmel families know.

Coming from a very musical family (both instruments and vocals) I can't say enough about the benefits of choir and band.  I have three daughters: one in high school, one in Jr high, and one in elementary.  They have all been very active in the choir department and have branched off in many different areas of the arts which truly have assisted them in becoming the wonderful young ladies they are today.  Choir has given them the inner strength and leadership that I believe will assist them in any adult situation they may cross later in life.  The performing aspect gives them a since of confidence which again branches out to performing in a class room project to involving themselves in an adult conversation with no signs of intimidation.  Being in choir allows my children to rely on others in a group environment.  They also seem to have very good learning habits.  This is a class where they can behave well and still have a lot of fun.  The performances are great for family outings.  What a wonderful way to see your child excel and have fun at the same time.  I have had only great experiences with the music department with Carmel Clay Schools.  We are truly blessed to have such wonderful supporting parents and caring teachers to make sure our children succeed in what they do best.  My daughters have had the blessing of parts in the Jr. High musicals and the unbelievable experience of Holiday Spec.at Carmel High.  I believe music will be a possible choice for two of my daughters as a career and if not for this opportunely with the choir department this may not be a dream come true.  Try it and let your child decide.  Let them enjoy what CCS has to offer.  We truly have. ~  Sandra Baker

Both of my kids attended Carmel Clay Schools from 1st through 12th grades, and their experiences in the performing arts classes were some of the best moments in their school years.  As you know, Kevin currently spends most of his waking hours in the Performing Arts wing of Carmel High School. While Kevin excels in many academic endeavors, his Performing Arts classes, including band, choir, orchestra, and drama, have been the driving force behind an incredibly successful school career. One of our favorite quotes is from Nietzche: "Without music, life would be a mistake."  Kevin really epitomizes this quote.  My daughter was also involved in Orchestra and Drama at Carmel Middle School, and though she did not pursue these activities throughout high school, the experiences were formative for her as well.  Laura is now an Honor Student in her Sophomore year at Indiana University and is an active supporter of the Arts as an audience member and volunteer.  ~ Nancy Carlson

I feel that my kids' participation in orchestra has benefitted them in many ways.  First off, I believe that it has instilled a sense of responsibility and discipline in their daily routine. Being accountable to a group and practicing and recording their practice time has been a source of order and discipline that will serve them well in all aspects of their life.  In turn, the practice time strengthens their skills and also their confidence.  I feel music is a great outlet and form of personal expression which is very beneficial for all ages, but especially preteens and teens.  After all, didn't someone once say, "Music soothes the savage beast."  (how true!) ~ Shannon Deganutti

My freshman played tenor saxophone all three years of middle school.  Playing in a group and with others mastering the same instrument was fun.  He believes the ISSMA contest boosted his confidence, because he worked hard to successfully achieve a difficult goal.  By high school he was ready to join the top band and felt confident in his skills.  My seventh grade daughter believes playing the clarinet has helped her with understanding tone quality, tempo, music pitch, and staying in tune.  She feels this is a peer activity that makes it fun to work together and help teach the rewards of self-discipline with practice.  Learning an instrument has enhanced her appreciation of music in general and crossed over to her love of singing as well.  ~ Natalie Manges

Participation in middle school band has enabled our eighth grade son to participate this past year in marching band at Carmel High School.  It was such a rich experience for him.  It also led our son to be part of the All Region Honor Band.  Band has been the foundation for all his musical experience.  He has formed his own band with friends and practices every weekend.  Band participation in middle school also inspired our son to become more interested in performing arts.  He participated in all plays and musicals these past three years at Creekside.  Middle school band was also a great foundation for our daughter who is currently a sophomore at Carmel High School.  She participates in marching band and concert band.  She became more interested in performing arts also and decided to participate in choir as well as band at the high school.  Band has provided structure for both our children and has helped them budget their time better and be more organized as they fit in practice time.  This has led to better grades in school as well.  Both our children have made good friends in middle school band and high school band with this common thread of enjoyment of performing arts. ~ Brian & Dawn McGrath

Participating in sixth grade choir is a fantastic way for students to immediately feel like they are part of a group when they first enter middle school.  The combined concerts with the 7th and 8th grade choirs enable them to be positively influenced by the older students and get exposure to the many opportunities that the performing arts department has to offer ~ Liz Urbanowski


Both of our children benefitted from their orchestra experience and now each child has developed a lifelong love for music as they use their gifts of music to give back to the community serving at the local church.

In fifth grade the orchestra and band students came to the elementary school to introduce the various instruments to our children.  After trying a couple of different instruments they ultimately choose the violin.  We explained that this was a commitment not to be taken lightly and in order to get the most out of it we recommended they play throughout middle school.  Which they did and they don’t regret their decision.  Our son played violin at Carmel and Creekside under the direction of Mr. Nobles and Mrs. Sendi for 3 years.  He learned how to read violin music, manage his time wisely so he could practice and developed a love for all genres of music.  Our daughter currently plays violin at Creekside under the direction of Mrs. Sendi and will have also played for three years in June 2009.  She too learned how to read violin music, manage her time so she could practice and now loves all genres of music.  Although our son did not continue in the orchestra at Carmel High he uses his gift of music at church every week as he mixes music and works the sound board.  Our daughter uses her gift of music at church as she leads the pre-school children in worship songs every week.  Our children have been very blessed to have been the recipients of the outstanding orchestra program at Carmel Clay Schools and the benefits will last a lifetime. ~Jeff and Kathleen Bloxsome

We greatly appreciate the help from the Creekside Middle School Orchestra with our children’s musical education. Our son, Kevin Song, who graduated from Creekside Middle school in 2007, is now a sophomore at Carmel High School. He played violin in Creekside Middle school Orchestra for three years. His middle school orchestra credential helped him get into the Carmel High School Symphony Orchestra. Melinda Song, our daughter, has benefited from her education in Creekside Middle school Orchestra since 6th grade. Their training in the orchestra helped develop their leadership, self-discipline, self-confidence, motivation and time management while they maintained excellent academic performances. Mrs. Sendi and Mrs. Higdon and the student teachers are excellent musicians and teachers. We really appreciate Creekside Middle School Orchestra for providing a great opportunity for our kids to grow their musical talents in their lives. Best, Edgar and Sherry Huang


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