Brittany Thomas, Carter G. Woodson School
At Carter G. Woodson School, the last class I normally help with is a full class of 6th grade boys. A lot of the time they don't get to play very much due to behavior issues. The class is at the end of the day and they just can't focus as much as the earlier groups.
I watch a lot and have figured out who the "trouble makers" are in the group. I finally got to work with two of them on trumpet as a group. When they were outside the class room, away from the other boys, the boys were very well behaved.
They were both instantly talented at the trumpet. They picked it up very quickly. After teaching them a few ways to produce a good sound and some fingerings they were already reading the music with little trouble. I found that with encouragement and attention they really were very enthusiastic about music and the trumpet. They had many "oooooh!" moments when they realized they could do it.
Pretty soon we integrated them back into the class room. I noticed that one of the boys sat quietly as soon as he got into the room and the other boy started to tell the other boys to "be quiet" because he really wanted to play. Before, he was one of the students who would mess around and laugh but now he has become a different kind of leader. His leadership went from making the class more hectic to calming the class down. It is really cool to see his excitement to play trumpet everyday now.