At the very beginning of the school year, I would gather with my students each day and we would create music with what was available to us. We would tap out patterns together and take turns around the conga drum. We listened to the symphony and sang songs. Music is everywhere, but unfortunately everywhere does not always mean our schools. Our school was fortunate enough to be able to build a music program again while many schools continue to abandon the arts in attempts to save their budget. Although we were lacking in physical resources, we had the most important resource of all: a supportive school community ready, willing, and eager for a full music program.
One day Music Drives Us showed up to our classroom. From that day forward everyday was like Christmas in music class. I slowly began to unveil the instruments which we had been gifted and each week new excitement bubbled over often resolving in cheers and eager smiles. We took the knowledge we had stored up in our first weeks together and shared the process of applying it to our xylophones, boomwhackers, and bucket drums. I watch as they made connections to instruments and music they see at home and in their communities. Hands fly up each day with a story of their families and friends that share similar passions.
In a school of 925 it could be very easy to feel overwhelmed or to focus only on the students that pass through your doors. At the Curley we work very hard to care about not just ourselves, but each other and our school. As a new teacher in the building, music has allowed me to connect with teachers that once had, or still do share a passion for music. I spend my mornings at the piano, my door open, welcoming my students and others that drop in to listen or say hello. I look forward to the times when the middle school students, who I do not currently teach, poke their head in for a moment and smile before they wander up to class. My own students often stop in and ask questions about what I am playing, the piano, and if they can try too. Music allows us all to connect, relate to one another, feel at ease, and begin our days together.
Through music, I hope to continue to build relationships with the students and staff at the Curley. This has all been made easier and more successful thanks to Music Drives Us. They have become part of our musical story and a part of our Curley community.
Music teacher at The Curley School