Mark Calima has spent fourteen years as a music educator and band director at middle and high schools throughout Texas. He is a Cum Laude graduate of the University of Houston, where he received his music degree in 2004.
“I have successfully led students to national and international honors,” Mark Calima says. “I am also adjudicator for Drum Corps International and Bands of America, so I have seen the dual perspectives of field competition.”
Many music education professionals say that it seems to them that students who participate in organized music programs, such as band, have an advantage of those students who do not. The music students, even those who do not pursue music as a career, seem to leave high school clear goals in mind, and the confidence to achieve them. It begs the question, why? What gives those students a leg up on the others?
It isn’t just a matter of luck, and it isn’t that musical students tend to be more goal or success-oriented than non-musical students. Research indicates that learning music can activate certain parts of the brain, and stimulates it to learn at a fast pace. It can also stretch the memory to higher levels of retention. Learning music can enhance cognitive learning, and promote growth in other, non-musical areas of development. Music students tend to be better motivated and have better social skills, better time management, and a better awareness of the situations they find themselves in.
Many of those who are involved in teaching music at the middle and high school levels say that not enough is done to let parents know just how beneficial music instruction can be; that there are greater benefits than the obvious musical rewards. Music may be its own reward, of course, but many argue that we should not stop with that, because the value of learning music is so great. Parents need to know, they say, that there is a lot more to having their kid in band than buying them an instrument and making sure they practice it at home, and at band practice. The skills that young people learn from music are transferable, and can be applied to virtually any other academic subject.
Mark Calima is capable of bringing a lot of information and solutions to band programs. He knows that music creates successful people, and has the ability to achieve high standards with his students.