Sydney, once such 8th-grader, remembers when she was in 4th grade and how settling for a desktop to rattle off her favorite rhythms would be as good as it gets.
Now, through Jessica's music class, she gets to practice on full-size instruments.
"The fact that I get to play on real drums is amazing. I get to sit in front of this awesome set and learn the beats by listening," she says. "I can honestly learn them and sometimes when I sit down, I totally lose myself and it's a lot of fun.”
The Foundation provided electric guitars, equipment and accessories to HPA. Jessica and her students are overjoyed with the instrument grant and are excited with the learning opportunities that lay ahead.
Classmate, Brianna, thinks having enough guitars for everyone to play has made it much easier because she can learn at a pace that is relaxing and enjoy herself. All of which peaks her curiosity.
In addition, HPA has expanded its music program to include several vocal music and drama clubs to reach as many students as possible.
"I’ve become more creative and I am eager to discover new things. Having the opportunity to sing 'The Lion King' in choir and perform Christmas songs has given me more options rather than just playing a song to earn a grade. I'm actually learning something and it's helpful,” she says.
Jessica believes her students feel very comfortable when in the music room and almost as if it is a "safe haven" where there is an understanding without regard to all the various social circles. Everyone is equal and therefore welcome.
“And the students know that by coming here, we are creating a community where the only thing that matters is the music. Sometimes they come to pick up an instrument and just play for a while.” Jessica says. “I believe that in our music class, my students know how to work together, how to push themselves, and how to make something out of nothing.”