Axis recently donated to the Dolan Middle School in Stamford, Connecticut to help purchase new parts and equipment to fix instruments for the 230-large band, 68 of which are percussionists. The students needed replacement parts to fix current instruments to make them playable again, and basic supplies such as pads, stands, and tuners.
Dolan Middle School is a “High Poverty” school, and is a “Title 1” school, meaning that many of the students are receiving free or reduced lunches.
My students need replacement parts to fix current instruments to make them playable again, and basic supplies such as practice pads, stands and tuners.
Out of the 230 band students I teach between two schools, 68 of those students are percussionists. The students are in 6th to 8th grade and the schools have a great deal of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity. Both schools are Title 1 schools, with many of my students receiving free or reduced lunch.
The kids I have in band are smart, excited, and passionate about music.
I often have students coming to me asking for extra music for them to work on outside of class, and many participate in extra curricular music activities such as jazz band, chamber singers, and pops band.
Teaching students often times is about finding a balance between challenging your students, and presenting them with opportunities to be successful. Unfortunately in music, playing on instruments that are in poor condition makes it difficult for students to achieve success no matter how hard they work. My students have been playing on drums with broken heads, missing snares, and other ‘make due’s for the last few years in order to keep the program going.
Receiving these drum heads, practice pads, stands and chime holder would prevent my students from being hindered in their playing by malfunctioning equipment and allow them to continue to grow as musicians.
It would also put instruments I haven’t been able to use in years back into circulation, preventing more unneeded spending on new instruments. The drum pads and sound offs will give our large percussion section a way to play together while preserving the hearing of the rest of the band (Yes we have THAT many drummers!).
Most of all, it will help kids to take more pride in their ensemble by using instruments that show off their dedication and hard work.
With the funding for the project complete, the students received their new equipment in time for their upcoming concerts. Another project well worth funding!