Community Help in Music Education (CHIME)

[original spelling and grammar retained for flavor]

From Dina Koston’s fourth and sixth grade classes in music and listening skills at Marie Reed Learning Center from 1998-2001.

Excerpts from classroom reports by sixth graders:

  • "I think music makes my brain work more and think. That makes me more alert...and attentive when I do my work…(It) also wakes up an interest in music that we have in us. It also helps us pay attention at school. I enjoy the music classes very much..(and) all my classmates do too" -Estefani Belloso.
  • "I want to be a singer when I grow up. The music that she teaches me will help me sing notes and write music." -Erin Mosby.
  • "I enjoy Mrs. Koston because she inspires our music skills...[and] is a role model for our generation. She helps our singing and rhythm…This will make an empact [sic] on our lives." -Victor Brown.
  • "Mrs. Koston’s music class has helped me by showing us how to listen..and learn how to make music and rhythm" -Brenda Ordonez Velasquez
  • "Mrs. Koston’s music class has helped me to learn to listen to other people" -Christopher Edmondson
  • "We like when we make up new songs. We always do a fun activity like clapping...We split in two groups then one group sings and then the other group does. So that’s why it’s so much fun and good learning." -Elmer Contrera
  • "The music class has..helped me to pay more attention to music and to follow directions...[and] to learn about notes, skills, and be a better student." -Noel Buruca.

Excerpts from letters to her from fourth graders, which were accompanied by pictures:

  • "If I grow up to be a musician, I would want to be like you. I want music to stay in our school because I can learn how to play different instruments. So when I grow up I can say I had many active things to do at my school." -Tracy Miles
  • "You teach us very useful things..such to listen to the echo when you beat on a can. When the echo doesn’t last when you beat on the table. When you played in the auditorium, it sounded like we were at a concert at the Kennedy Center with nobody making a sound. Everytime you teach us, I go home and tell my family. Thank you for all you have taught us."
  • "We want you to come every day because you know lot of thing about muse [sic]" -Victor Ventura
  • "When you played the music I was thinking about my grandfather. He played the piano too. We love when you come to our class" -Vanessa Camar
  • "Mrs. Koston is a very enchanting she plays the very special because it makes me float around. I tell my parents about Mrs. Koston" -Judith Esparza.
  • "I mostly enjoy when our class gets to test our voices…when we sing high, low, soft, loud. If Mrs. Koston keeps helping us with music she may go down in history as world’s greatest" -Takia Williams.
  • "When I grow up I’m going to play the violin. I have to practice more so I’ll get good at it. I love music as much as you do. When I am 20 years old, I want to teach music like you." -Mara Ayala
  • "She has never gotten mad with our class. She comes in very calm to teach. She always shares with us new things, and no matter if it is old or new we learn it. It is always fun on Fridays." -Keith Butler
  • "When I go to sleep I think about your music. When I go to bed...I can hear beautiful music." -Bernice Genus

Students from Jack Upper's fifth grade singing classes at Marie Reed Learning Center.

Mr. Upper Directed the World Bank-IMF Choir for 12 years and sings with many choral groups. He has been a CHIME Volunteer Instructor since 1999.

  • "I use to try to sing music but now I know how to sing a lot. I wish my sister could go to you because she sing terrible. We have fun with you because every day we learn something new." -Oneida Q.
  • "One thing that I reilly belive is on all of my deam and goal of becoming a very good famous signer I also belive that deams come ture some day some how my deam will come to life. You came and God help you come to help me sige. Thanck you for all you done. Your best student" -Paula R.
  • "Mr. Upper was teaching us and sometimes we were teaching him. He teached us all kinds of things and we teached him to say the Spanish words he didn’t know..I know more about music than I did at the beginning of the year" -Wilmer D.
  • "Music mean the spirit and the heart. It means many thing to me because I learn different music like French, English, Spanish and more. Music is my favorite hobby. I listen to selections of music like rap, jazz..and more. I love playing music. When I grow up I might be a musician or a singer...I appreciate coming for us and teaching us music. I know it is hard for you tring to teach us because there are some rude people, but they appreciate it too." -Arielle T.
  • "Thank you for teaching us all this cool stuff about music. I am always excited when Ms. Alexander says 'Everybody line up, we’re going to Mr. Upper'" -Tracey M.
  • "I thank you for teacher us to sing and dance and. how to act the song out like Do Re Me Fa So La Ti Do, and [names many others],,,I thank you for taking you with us, when you can be resting in your chair watching TV." -Eric Mc.
  • "Mr. Upper is a nice guy to come and teach my class... 'Swing Low Sweet' my class and I have sing is me the inspiration to sing. I believe that nobody will come for free to teach us. Your songs that. you teach us are great. Your class is very fun." -Unnamed
  • "Mr. Upper help us by relaxing our nerves and helping us to learn how to sing" -Audith E.
  • "I have learn a lot about music from you. I learned how to sing and I try and try. I loved your music and I always will because I know I really learned how to sing and practice the voice. I wish you would come everyday for I can learn lots of songs and I would not always not need a paper of music. I would just sing with you and help other children, but before that I would like to learn all the songs that you know" -Zulma L
  • "Learning to sing is very interesting because probably Mr. Upper was a very famous singer when I was little or not even born yet...If Mr. Upper was young I would be able to say 'what’s up, man?', or if not, then 'what’s up, dude?'. Mr. Upper is still a very cool man, but I just don’t like it when other kids...disturb him while he is talking or singing…I have just done it once but it was not really bad it was just not reading the music sheet that he always hands out to us" -Adriana.
  • "He can hold his breath longer than anyone I know…I think if Mr. Upper continues to come to my class we will have outstanding voices. I think the best song my class and I have sing is 'Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho'. I wonder what new song we are going to learn today." -Thomas B.

Students from Emily O’Brien's recorder classes.

Ms. O’Brien was a CHIME volunteer instructor at Seaton and Bancroft Elementary Schools while a student at School Without Walls in 1998-2000. At Bancroft she taught all 3rd and 4th grade students to play the recorder, and was so successful the school subsequently wanted all the students in the school to learn how to play.

  • "I know that you have to move your fingers fast. Also to stop when they tell you to. I learned that to never say you can’t do it. I enjoy when you learned different songs. I can play A,B,C,D,E,F and G. Also I can play Merry Had a Little Lam and Jingol Bell." -Isaias C.
  • "When I play the recorder with my class I think I am the only one playing. Friday is my favorite day because I get to play recorder with Ms. Emily." -Connie
  • "I used to not know anything about playing recorder, and I wanted to quit but I started to learn and I like it. It help me by doing math doing it faster and think faster and concentrating more. I like to thank CHIME for sending us Ms. Emily. She is a great teacher." -Antwaun J.
  • "Every Friday Emily..comes to my class and teaches us songs on the recorder. The songs that I know are Sleep Baby Sleep, Three Blind Mice, and Titanic. Those songs are wonderful! The notes that Miss Emily showed us are: B,A,G,E,F, F#,C D#, D. With these notes I can play recorder songs. Every Friday she teaches us..brand new songs and notes. She even makes us clap while she plays on her recorder. For some holidays she gives us recorder lessons so we could play on the recorder in front of the school" -Cynthia G.
  • "I feel good and toasty inside when I play the recorder" -Alex
  • "Emily is a good teacher because we learned quick." -Nelson
  • "She teaches us notes and songs and it makes beautiful music and sometimes we have two songs and we have groups. Some play on the bottom and some play at the top. I like when I spend time with her. I like her playing with recorder. Some of notes are hard and some are easy and she’s very nice. Sometimes she’s mad us when we don’t follow the directions" -Shelley H.