Hitting The High Notes: Music Matters In Schools

BOSTON (CBS) – Amber Darden is the music teacher at the Henderson K thru 12 Inclusive School in Dorchester, a one time turn around school. “When I came to the school, this was four years ago, there was no music program. There were no instruments, no choir, nothing, no music services of any sort,'” Darden recalled.

So Darden went to work. She not only teaches, but oversees three chorus groups, a school choir, and also has purchased more than two dozen keyboards through grant money.

“These are kids that have never even been able to touch an instrument,” Darden told WBZ.

Fresh out of college when she applied for the job, Darden was driven by her combined passion for children and music.

Her students responded. “It was like love at first sight, you could say. She was so amazing,” laughed Shonda Carvallo, a senior and member of the school’s choir group. Growing up as a rebellious teen in Milwaukee, Darden credits a music teacher with changing that.

“I went from this really bitter and angry girl to just blossoming. I love music and I just love singing,” said Darden, who enjoys performing gospel music.

“Music matters because I believe it’s the one transformative power that we have in our life. It’s not something that is physically tangible but it goes deeper than that,” said Darden. “I think for so many people, music is the way that they can express themselves when they couldn’t otherwise.”

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