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Children learn about music through grant funding


: Jalliyah Smalls (pink top), Dangelo Vandemark, and Zoey Robertson listen to instructions.

“You can touch them, but don’t hit or bang them. And don’t move around too much with your headphones on, because you could jerk the keyboards off the tables and break them,” said Northside Elementary School music instructor Jenny Bunton as she explained how to play music on nine new Yamaha keyboards in her classroom.The keyboards were purchased through a art/music grant obtained by Northside Art Instructor Beth Howle in the summer 0f 2011. “She purchased art supplies for herself and nine keyboards for me,” Jenny said. She noted her class works with the keyboards every four-to-five weeks, and all grade levels participate.

“We do these as separate centers so every student gets a chance to play a keyboard on their own,” Jenny said. She added that students use beginner-level piano books to learn how to play. At another center, there is a game or worksheet that reviews skills needed to play the keyboard. The final center uses music software and other different technologies on the smart-board to reinforce the skills and techniques used on the keyboards, Jenny said.

In the classroom last week, Jenny told her      grade class members, “Today, we’re going to let you explore and see what these instruments can do, but eventually, you will be playing songs on these things,” Jenny said.