11th-grader receives college-level honor

Shawn Hardy
'To Sing or not to Sing?' a project about the value of music education earned Jordan Noll, an 11th-grade homeschooler from Greencastle, first place in a campuswide competition at HACC, where she took her first college course — English 101.

Jordan Noll is a homeschooled 11th-grader who also takes classes at Greencastle-Antrim High School, Franklin County Career and Technology Center, HACC (Harrisburg Area Community College) and Cumberland Valley School of Music.

Her interest in music was the foundation for an English 101 term paper and project board her teacher submitted to HACC Con, a campuswide competition. Jordan presented "To Sing or Not to Sing?" via Skype to a three-judge panel, winning first place and $200 in the virtual students division.

The daughter of Jeff and Carla Noll has been homeschooled her whole life, but also has studied flute in G-A schools and at Cumberland Valley School of Music with Amanda Bietsch. In addition, she is taking trigonometry this spring a G-AHS, where she also plays in the concert band and is a Big Buddy for a primary school student.

Making music 

"My Dad is very musical and introduced me to it," Jordan explained.

"A few times throughout my musical career I heard they were thinking about cutting music," Jordan said. "I believe it is so beneficial to kids at school."

A several years ago when the future of the music program was being discussed in the Greencastle-Antrim School District, she spoke in its support before the school board.

"Music education is a crucial part of the school day because it has been connected with positive influences on the development of I.Q., academic achievement, the brain and critical life skills," she wrote in "To Sing or not to Sing?"

Her paper cites numerous experts and studies backing up that statement and concludes, "Aristotle once stated, 'Music has the power of producing a certain effect on the moral character of the soul, and if it has the power to do this, it is clear that the young must be directed to music and must be educated in it.' This man recognized, even over two-thousand years ago, that although music is beneficial across the life span, a good foundation must be built in youth ... now, the school-age years. While the music education system is not flawless; it has proven to be worth the effort necessary in ensuring its growth and impact. Young or old, it is never to late to begin reaping the benefits offered through participation in music."

Jordan's own participation in music also includes placing third with her flute in this year's CVSM merit competition — the fourth year she has been honored.

Her father teaches piano at CVSM, where he has directed the Cumberbunds choir for 25 years. In addition to a variety of other musical endeavors, Jordan and her siblings, Joshua, Careth and Caleb, have all been members of the Cumberbunds.

"Her family's musical involvement over the years definitely qualifies her to have a voice on this subject," her mother said, adding "We love the G-A music program."

More about Jordan

Jordan is enrolled in the allied health program at FCCTC and took part in a statewide Health Occupation Students of America competition her class, winning first place in her area of study.

She is planning to be a registered nurse, specializing in either hospice or labor and delivery.

Jordan loves children, relishes the opportunity to baby-sit and is active in children's ministry at Hagerstown Bible Church, where her father is a pastor.