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Parkway Elementary's Ukulele Program Strikes a Chord with Students


Amber Perez, a dedicated music teacher at Parkway Elementary, has transformed her classroom with the vibrant sounds of ukuleles thanks to the "Uke Can Ukulele!" project. Funded by the Lewisville Noon Rotary Grant and the LISD Employee Giving Grant, Perez received a total of $1,650 to purchase a classroom set of ukuleles. These grants, provided by the Lewisville ISD Education Foundation, leverage community donations to support LISD students and teachers.

“Music alone is a crucial part of an exceptional educational experience,” Perez shared in her original grant application. “Learning how to play the ukulele offers a creative and innovative pathway to those musical experiences. Ukuleles engage every student and they are fun to play alone or in a group.”

Starting with the basics of ukulele care and sound production, students quickly advanced to mastering chords, rhythms, and composing their own songs. With her fifth-grade students, Perez started a unit called "Rainbow Ukulele." Students progress through 10 levels of songs, earning colorful beads for their keychains with each achievement. If they pass all 10 songs they got to go to a Reward party at the end of the school year.

“They cheered each other on and took pride in their progress,” Perez said. “I included about 100 fifth graders this year but I plan to expand ukulele to all grade levels eventually. We will be able to use these ukuleles for years and years to come.”

As the ukulele program continues to grow and reach more students, it not only enriches their musical education but also contributes to their overall well-being and academic success. This initiative serves as a testament to the positive impact the power of community support can have on young learners, inspiring them to explore and develop their talents in a supportive and joyful environment.

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