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"The Next Joshua Bell?"

By ETM Partner School Teacher

(as told by the music teacher)

Brandon is a 6th grade violinist who didn’t care for school and spent every minute he could on his skateboard. All of that changed when Joshua Bell came to visit. When Brandon saw Joshua Bell play live, he suddenly realized what the possibilities are on the violin. It was like skateboarding tricks – but with music!

Suddenly, he started looking up videos on YouTube, trying out tricks on his instrument, and transcribing difficult pieces. He learned Schubert’s “Ave Maria” by ear 100% correctly, and he has been trying to learn the Bach Chaconne [the song that Joshua Bell played for the students]. Brandon comes to school enthusiastically every morning – as soon as he puts his instrument in his locker, I get a stream of questions that he came up with during his practice the night before. He spends his lunch time practicing instead of playing basketball, and I have to kick him out after school or he would play for me all night!

Brandon takes great pride in being able to play things that nobody else can, and he is working hard in school so that he can keep his special lunch time and after-school practicing privileges. Brandon played for the school principal recently. Principal Uzzo sought me out and said,

“You know, that kid is gonna be the next Joshua Bell!”