The positive effects of music education have a ripple effect. The students need a creative outlet to express the life experiences and circumstances so many have survived and thrived through.
Our students are frequently referred to as "those kids, " and we all know that isn't a term of endearment.
The truth is, though, that the students we serve are diverse, disadvantaged, and oftentimes disenfranchised from years of struggling in school for a multitude of reasons. Many of our students come from unimaginable home lives and struggle with the basics in the hierarchy of needs, which pushes school pretty low on their list of priorities. We strive to help the whole student so that they can reengage in school and ultimately be successful, graduate, and hopefully move forward into a post-secondary program. We are a small school with limited resources, so our students don't have the opportunities to explore extracurricular activities that mainstream students enjoy. These activities are essential for students because they engage kids in a way that academic classes alone just can't. Our students deserve to experience this, too.
In our newly founded music class, we've been learning how to play acoustic guitar, ukulele, and percussion. We had been gifted a banjo, but it needs costly repairs to be functional again. The good news is that it has sparked a huge interest in my students to learn the banjo. I'd love for them to have the opportunity.
Adding the banjos to our brood will add another layer to our musical repertoire and give our students the chance to expand their skills with an instrument they wouldn't otherwise have access to.
Their skills are growing fast and their enthusiasm is contagious. I want them to keep growing and learning because it has been a joy to watch their confidence bloom and their bonds with one another strengthen.
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