Little did our son, or we, realize the incredible impact that PBA would have on our son’s development over the next 1.5 years. The PBA environment encourages the boys to work both as a team and pursue personal achievement. PBA was instrumental in evolving his confidence, self-esteem, social skills and overall image. Also, the school’s small student:teacher ratio enabled him to obtain the attention needed for his studies while forwarding his knowledge of music.
If you had asked me years ago if our son would be interested in singing, I probably would have done a spit-take. He is a sports guy. He likes tennis, basketball, football and any form of competition, including competitive elbowing to get to the front of the line. When these folks say they speak Boy”, they aren’t kidding. Not only did they teach him to sing like an angel, he learned how stand in line like one as well. After I saw how well he thrived within the after school program it was practically a no-brainer to enroll him in the school. I was excited to have him in an environment where not only does he get nearly individualized attention in the core subjects of math, English and history, he gets science, art, and languages at level that makes him one of the more well-rounded members of his peer group. And naturally, he gets lots of music. Of course, if you ask him, P.E. is still his favorite.
If you are an avid weekend tennis player watching the US Open, you know better than someone who hasn’t played the sport how difficult a shot is to make, how hard it is to put accurate spin on a serve, how tricky it can be to nail a volley. Singing complex harmony without drifting into someone else’s part, starting a song in tune without having your note repeated (never mind modulating keys somewhere in the middle), or memorizing words and passable pronunciation in a non-Romance (however romantic) language that you are unfamiliar with; these are all skills that challenge fully grown professional singers as a person performed a wide variety of vocal music, I can testify to the “degree of difficulty” involved in what the Pacific Boychoir can do. Every time I hear the PBA choir perform, I am amazed all over again at the way our boys make it all look so easy, and the way, in conjunction with their teachers, they make it sound so divine.
With the ratio of students to teacher, our son will be contributing to the class experience every single day. This fits his learning style to a T, as he prefers group discussion, peer thinking and participating in his own learning experience. There will be no opportunity to “stay in the shadows”.
As parents of two boys we are always amazed when our friends tell us what life is like with girls. The energy differential, the attention shifts, the need for movement and speed – these are real issues when you live with boys. PBA understands how to teach boys and can craft a class schedule and routine to mesh with “boy energy” and maximize its usefulness in learning. Mixed-sex schools frequently separate boys and girls for math and sciences – to benefit the girls. I’ve come to believe that similar separation would be valuable for boys in language arts, where their interest and attention require different triggers. With PBA, the boys will be in an optimal learning environment – for boys.
To witness this ease and sonic grace makes the contrast with how we see our children every day, as growing, energetic boys, even more remarkable. Not every school, whatever their focus, allows children to develop the discipline required to accomplish the things PBA boys do and still be boys. As parents I feel we can be assured that our kids are academically challenged, that they are treated as individuals with their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and that they are in an environment that, with all that the modern world confronts them with, is a safe place for them both physically and emotionally, where they are developing not just the academic skills but the personal and social ones that will empower them to be not only successful as individuals, but as citizens of a rapidly changing global community. What more can we ask of our children’s education than this?
For me, this point is the one I want place the most emphasis on — as the sole parent of a boy at Pacific Boychoir Academy, I will be forever grateful to the staff of PBA for contributing so much to the development of my son, not just as a singer but as a human being. As PBA parents we know that our children are being taught to take responsibility for themselves and each other, that they are part of a community and their actions are important, whether they are on tour in a foreign country or transitioning from one classroom to another. Just watching them play basketball with each other during lunch reinforces my admiration for the way they treat each other with respect without condescension, the way they can compete and cooperate at the same time, and reinforces my esteem for the teachers and the staff that make this possible.
We were hesitant about PBA as a day school because not one person from our family has ever attended a private school. Once we met all of the people involved with the organization (faculty, staff & families) and had the financial assistance that we needed approved, then we were in. The school has been a huge blessing for our son and our family. We are so very proud of our son and his accomplishments while at PBA and we are grateful for the role that the people in and around PBA have taken in this success.
Alumni Parent (Mid-year transfer @ 6th grade, Class of 2019)