AURORA – Before he ever beat on a drum, Eighth Grader Trevor Johns used to beat on other people — no joke.
“Before I came into middle school, I wasn’t as well as I am now,” Johns said. “I was a bad kid.”
Then, he met Instrumental Music Teacher Nina Scheideman at Columbia Middle School in Aurora. In her classroom, music is more than a lesson, it’s a way for her students to grow up.
“Sometimes, that’s the reason some kids come to school,” Scheideman said.
Trevor says music has helped him to become a calmer student.
“It makes you relax,” Trevor said. “If I continued on the path I was continuing on me personally, (I) think I would end up somewhere I wouldn’t want to be — like jail.”
Now, Scheideman says he is a talented percussionist and one of her best students.
“Trevor has made huge strides since sixth grade. He was a completely different kid three years ago,” Scheideman said.
Isabelle Walker was completely different, too.
“My mom told me that I was gonna plan an instrument whether I liked it or not,” Isabelle said.
She is a high school freshman now. But, Isabelle says playing the trumpet in band changed her life in her three years at Columbia Middle School.
“So, it definitely built my confidence a lot,” Isabelle said.
But, Isabella and Trevor likely wouldn’t be here if people did not donate their used musical instruments.
“If it weren’t for Bringing Music to Life, half of those kids would not be in that class,” Scheideman said.
The teacher doesn’t really the budget.
“Every year, I am able to purchase two to three instruments for my classroom,” Scheideman said.
Most of the kids in her class, she says, don’t have the money to buy or rent instruments on their own.
“Me personally, I cannot afford a drum,” Trevor said.
Isabelle says she almost had to quit music.
“In sixth grade, I got my own trumpet,” Isabelle said. “However, it broke and we couldn’t fix it.”
Before the Bringing Music to Life instrument drive, which is sponsored by 9News, Scheideman says students left her class or shared what instruments she did have.
“It was quite the struggle for kids to be able to practice at home and it was a struggle in class because they would have to take turns on their instruments,” Scheideman said.
Over the years, she says more than 50 instruments have been donated to Columbia for her students to use. The Bringing Music to Life instrument drive provides instruments to schools all around Colorado.
“If you have instruments that you don’t use anymore, you can give it to people and they just have that happiness,” Isabelle said.
If you want to find out where you can drop off a used instrument, click here: http://www.bringingmusictolife.org. All instruments are repaired and refurbished at the Colorado Institute of Musical Instrument Technology in Castle Rock. Organizers say don’t worry about the condition of the instrument, they can usually fix it.
For Trevor, he used to think his future led him towards prison. Now, he was different plans thanks to music.
“I’ve been asking people about music colleges,” Trevor said.
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