There are simply no words to describe the impact Give A Note Foundation has made not only in the lives of our students, but also in my teaching. Student participation is like never before — 100%!
Because we have an adequate and abundant array of instruments, we can reach a multitude of student interests. Our students come from very difficult situations, including foster care. Music has healed our students and given them an outlet. It has been healing in many situations. Kids come to school excited about learning and work very hard.
One family of four boys live with their grandmother (who works at Walmart, and often works very late). They are often left to fend for themselves. They are all receiving awards. This is such a great story that reveals the evidence of the power of their desire to create and play music. One of them asked if they could perform Beethoven’s music.
We purchased a guitar lab (two sets) and have a guitar club that meets in the morning before school. We purchased autoharps as a precursor for beginning guitar.
We purchased drums (tubano and djembe) and use them often.
We purchased choir vests and have a before-school choir program for students in grades 3-5. This impacted our community as we performed for nursing homes, our mayor’s lighting ceremony, and our city’s Memorial Day ceremony.
We purchased a keyboard with a microphone that records audio. Our kids have become composers. As a matter of fact, I awarded four students on November 2.
The excitement was so contagious with the kids that it, in turn, affected me personally. Prior to the award, this 20-year veteran had become discouraged with the lack of and condition of not only our instruments, but also a deepening burnout for what I had previously loved most, music. That all changed when I became excited to come to school, and I ended up as the 2013 Regional Teacher of the Year for the state of Kansas. I was awarded 2nd place in the national Henry Ford’s Innovative teacher competition. I ended up writing about my experiences and creating my own CDs.
I am FOREVER grateful . . . and my students are so happy. In this community, with four prisons, THAT is a big deal!
2013 Kansas Regional Teacher of the Year Laura Moyers is a music educator at Anthony Elementary School in Leavenworth, KS. Laura’s music program at Anthony Elementary was one of the recipients of the Glee/Give A Note initiative that awarded over $1 million in grants to 73 schools in 2011. Learn more about Laura Moyers.