AndyWhat do you do when you’re a 12 year old kid with great rhythm, tons of energy and a drive to succeed? You join the High School Band! Andy’s parents noticed years ago that he had a great sense of beat and a love of music. In early elementary school, he began music lessons at Melodic Connections, where he learned guitar and keyboard, but his attention always came back to the drums.

Last year, Andy’s mom approached Melodic Connections with an idea: “Could we use Andy’s last year of elementary school to prepare him for an audition for his high school’s acclaimed steel drum band?” For Andy’s mom, it was critically important that she direct Andy toward activities that would allow for peer interaction outside his resource room classroom.

This is just the kind of challenge we love at Melodic connections. Music Therapist Elaine Ramage custom designed a steel drum curriculum that included, among other things, a plan to move him from our color coded music system to actual music and rhythmic notation. The high school band director had input as well, and he is currently working through music he will actually be playing in the program.  UPDATE:  As of September 2015 Andy has started school and is playing in the steel drum band.  Go Andy!

For Andy and his mom, music means so much more than the drive to a weekly lesson. It means an opportunity for Andy to have a peer group and experience high school on a level playing field with his fellow classmates. “Band trips and overnight camps are all things some kids and their parents take for granted,” Andy’s Mom said. Andy will get them too. We will just have to do a little more preparation to insure he succeeds.

Watch Andy’s steel drum lesson here: