Music class is helping third-grade partner school student, Kendrick, cope with painful losses in his home life and driving him toward success in school.
Kendrick is in foster care. He was separated from his brother when the two were placed with different families. The absence has been very hard for Kendrick, who frequently mentions how much he misses his brother. In most classes, Kendrick is very distracted and has a difficult time focusing on his school work—except for music class.
In music, Kendrick is fully engaged with lessons and shows an eagerness to learn. His music teacher shares that Kendrick is, “most responsive in music class,” where “he is just as focused as his peers.” During one recent lesson, his teacher introduced body percussion and steady beats to students. Kendrick was so enthusiastic about the lesson that he helped the teacher create a game based on improvised movements. After the game was created, the teacher asked the class, “What should we call this?” and Kendrick—bursting with inspiration and excitement—said, “We should call it Get with the Beat!” His music teacher was so grateful for Kendrick’s contribution and used Get with the Beat for the entire week. Now the two things Kendrick talks most about are his brother and music class.
Music is encouraging Kendrick to apply himself in school and giving him the inner strength to preserve in spite of the hardships in his life. His music teacher said, “I am happy that I could bring something as positive as music into his life. It is moments like these that remind me why I became a teacher.”
Music education has the power to build a brighter future for children who need it the most.