Melodic Memories

By Nicole Wong

This year, the sixth graders at KIPP Durham have started to learn to play the flute, clarinet, trombone, and trumpet under the guidance of their new band teacher, Ms. Farrier. In the beginning, it required a lot of hard work, learning how to read music and practicing the correct embouchure before the students actually got to play their desired instruments. But once they had them, the students excelled, rising to the challenge of learning scales and melodies to play as a band.

My project focused on Jacari, a male trumpeter, and Kimberly, Ashley and Heaven in the clarinet section, from the college of University of Tennessee. Soon after the students received their instruments, I noticed the immediate leadership of Jacari for the trumpet section, and the optimism of Kimberly, Ashley and Heaven despite learning a difficult instrument. Everyone showed me how music can make a positive impact in the lives of any student. Thank you to Ms. Farrier for giving me a lot of access in the band room and for your words of encouragement as I navigate the world of music education. It has been a complete joy to work with you and your students.