My students are primarily Hispanic and low-income. Recently I was asked to go to a students home to try to convince him to come to Saturday school so he could graduate. When I arrived at the home, it was in an unpaved trailer park. The steps were worn, there were a lot of empty flower pots, there was a crack in one of the windows, and a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I noticed a lot of condensation on the inside of the window (it was winter) and later realized that approximately 8-9 people were living in that home. They never answered the door. This is just one home in our community. Most of our families have little to no money.
Our kids get super excited about receiving a thirty cent pair of headphones.
They love music. They love forming close bonds with their peers. They want to find inspiration, and anything that I can do to give them that inspiration, I will.
Ed Tomlinson from California Keyboards in Bakersfield will come in to tune and repair my piano that I bought from GoodWill a month ago. Mr. Tomlinson's vision is shown when he says, “We believe every child and adult should be able to enjoy music. Studies show that music makes you smarter and we know that music programs in our schools help countless numbers of kids succeed scholastically and beyond. We want to be a part of that; to be a small participant in the joy and confidence that music can bring to the lives of so many.” I want Ed to come in and fix up my piano that I bought from GoodWill. At first, I thought it sounded pretty good! But now I see that it could use some TLC. A couple keys are stuck, a few pads need to be replaced, and it needs a tune up!
I did not think that the kids would have loved playing on the piano so much!
Every chance the kids get, either in passing periods, lunch, or recess, kids are dying to play the piano! I have set up some easy to follow chord sheets so the kids can teach themselves how to play and I give mini lessons when I have time.
Students will learn basic chord progressions during their free time which helps them to feel connected to school in a positive way. They experience the closeness of friends, find comfort in each other, and project personal expression into the classroom. It takes a lot of courage for some of these kids to try to make a melody on a piano and it has been doing wonders for my quiet kids. It is amazing to see how much more courage they have to speak up in class and connect.
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