As a music teacher, Teach For America alum Amber Kenis (Mississippi ’11) is sharing her own love for music with students at Simmons Middle School in Oak Lawn, Illinois. And in just four years—since the reintroduction of the music program after an eight-year hiatus—the school’s music program has grown from a small group of 10 students to more than 250.
“These students have set a solid foundation for the program so that it highlights some of the district’s best qualities,” Ms. Kenis says. “They are eager and excited to learn more about music. We just can’t keep them busy!!” (She admits this is a great problem to have, but not the only one they’re facing.)
Due to the growing interest in the music program, the average size of their ensemble rehearsal is upwards of 90 students—which makes tuning instruments very difficult. As a result, Ms. Kenis has turned to DonorsChoose.org to raise funds to purchase 12 clip-on tuner pick-ups for their current tuners. These new pick-ups use the vibration of the instrument to help students properly tune and won’t pick up the sound of other instruments that are playing at the same time.
Ms. Kenis adds, “Our kids were totally fascinated by this and it was a great way to incorporate science into the music classroom.”
Please consider supporting Ms. Kenis’ project today—and thank you, as always, for supporting teachers and the kids they serve.