The students are between the ages of 5 and 8 and all are in an emotional class. These students have been referred to our school by their home school districts because their behavioral and emotional needs prevented them from being able to succeed in a regular education class room.
Several students in the class have suffered some type of physical, sexual or emotional abuse.
Each student in the class has a different and often tragic story as to why they are in need of special education and supportive services. One child was severely abused by his mother while he was still a toddler. It was reported that his mother would leave him and his siblings outside during winter months. As recently as a few months ago, another was showing symptoms of again having been sexually abused.
Music has served to help to calm the children help them to stay focused. They also love music, singing and dancing. They want to start a ukulele band and have given their band a name: "The Puptrain Band." They love trying my ukulele and they all want one of their own. One little boy has already learned to play two chords.
The children in my class love music and singing, however there is no formal music education taking place in the school. I bring my ukulele in order to teach them songs and to practice singing. They love it and all 12 children want a turn trying to play my ukulele.
My children want music, they love music and all studies indicate the importance of music for enhancing brain development and the learning process.
At a time when most schools in our area are making cuts to their music programs, I would like my children to have the opportunity be actively engaged with music. They are so excited about the possibility of having their own band (The Puptrain Band) and it has served as a great motivator for addressing some of their behavioral issues.
If my children were able to obtain ukuleles, it would open up so many doors for them in terms of their learning as well as providing them with additional respite from some of the problems they face when they go home. Our children learning to play instruments also holds the potential of being a motivator for other students at our school and encouraging them to develop an interest in playing an instrument.
For all of the children in my class and in our school, there are so few bright spots in their young lives that the gift of music that our class could bring would, I believe, serve as a spark that could bring hope and motivation to many of the children in the school. For my children, the music would be integrated into their reading and math lessons and could help them to become more excited about their subjects.
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