ELK GROVE (CBS13) — The pandemic put a lot of things on hold and for some students, it even meant their creativity had to wait. Music classes came to a halt at many elementary schools with school campuses off-limits.
“The girls were extremely bummed they weren’t able to continue band. They love playing,” mom Anja Westerhaus said.
When the pandemic hit, the sounds of the Arnold Adreani Elementary School band in Elk Grove fell silent.
“When you have all the other students, all the comradery, you feed off of each other and they do a lot better and they enjoy it more,” mom Lauren Pullen said.
That’s why NewSongs School of Music picked up the beat. The students now gather for lessons so they continue playing as a band.
“My fear is that a lot of students that would otherwise progress in their music would just drop off and quit and once you quit it’s really hard to go back to it,” Director Michael Hemsworth said.
The group had even tried gathering on their own without an instructor.
“Like we had a song called conflict and we couldn’t agree on the speed so we just couldn’t play it at all,” Nate Pullen said.
Pandemic or not, they don’t want to miss a beat so they play by the rules: six feet apart with masks on when they’re not playing.
“Oh it’s really really fun, I’m so glad,” Ella Grace Westerhaus said.
“It’s been pretty good, it’s really fun doing it – the interaction with all my friends,” Blake Hunter said.
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“I’m just thrilled that they’re able to have some kind of normalcy. They’re able to see their friends. They’re able to grow just musically and emotionally. Music is simply on pause for many elementary school kids right now,” Anja Westerhaus said.
Many elementary schools outsource their music staff so private lessons are the only option until kids can go back to campus.