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Friday, November 21, 2008

PS22 Chorus

Music changes lives.

I believe that.

An elementary school music teacher in Staten Island believes that, too. His name is Mr. B, and he believes that the arts are an integral part of any successful school curriculum. His 5th grade chorus program is changing a lot of lives. The chorus has sung with famous pop icons like Tori Amos and Karen Peris.

I'm sure some of my music educator peers would say things like, oh, the kids should be learning classical music, and they should be belting less and using their head voices more, but you know what I think? This teacher is giving these kids exactly what they need. He is connecting with them in a unique way and teaching them to express themselves eloquently. He is taking a group of kids, many of whom are from underprivileged homes, and giving them voices. Those voices empower them and give them confidence and a niche of their own, a sense of belonging. The musical experiences these kids have will stay with them for a lifetime - a lifetime filled with music. What a gift.

There's a lot of energy and joy in those videos.


  1. I like it. I do wonder if they're going to have vocal trouble in the long run (they really are belting, which isn't great for young voices) but I think the benefits outweigh the potential problems.

  2. Thank you for sharing this, Sarah. What a beautiful thing. Joy, accomplishment, teamwork...a lot of benefits there!

  3. I agree that they're singing in too low a register for young children, but like you said, Emily, I think the benefits outweight that factor. Plus, without this program who knows if they'd have a chorus at all? I can't believe how expressive the kids are - it's really neat.