Andy on stage with Melodic Connections in April 2017

Ask anyone who has ever been an eighth grader — middle school is tough!  Andy has conquered middle school at Clark Montessori, and music played a huge role in that.  Andy started music lessons at Melodic Connections in early elementary school; steel drum lessons in sixth grade, and joined the Clark Steel Drum Band in seventh grade. Eighth grade posed a dilemma:  he could move up with his peers, but the music would get much harder. Teacher Jeff Martin advocated for Andy to move up with his peer group, and his band mates helped Andy rise to the occasion. The students took turns sitting out their part to help Andy.  During assemblies he sits with his drum class, as his peers help him navigate the nuances of middle school. “Through the music classroom,” his mom said, “Andy has made connections with people who he knows will be supportive.”

In May of 2017, Andy was awarded the Student of the Year Award for Clark Montessori from Hyde Park

Andy with steel drum teacher Jeff Martin, who recognized the importance of Andy’s  peer group.

Neighborhood Council. The award is given for academics, character, leadership, community awareness and citizenship. The Clark staff unanimously chose Andy for his growth in all these areas. It’s amazing what music, advocacy, and a little help from your friends can do!


Read our story from 2015 which describes the beginning of Andy’s journey toward the steel drum band.