Needed: Musical instruments to change students' lives - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Needed: Musical instruments to change students' lives

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Frost Academy orchesta students with tehir instruments. (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News) Frost Academy orchesta students with tehir instruments. (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News)
Faith Stroud (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News) Faith Stroud (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News)
Nicole Lear (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News) Nicole Lear (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News)
Ty Carver (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News) Ty Carver (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News)
Samantha Stapleton (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News) Samantha Stapleton (Source: James Thomas, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - It was called Frost Middle School, one of Jefferson County's most low performing schools, but that all is gone. In its place is the new Robert Frost 6th Grade Academy.

Robert Frost has some of the same issues as its predecessor: 90% of its children are on free or reduced lunch, but the feeling as you walk through the halls is optimistic that with new programs, and the community's help, this school can be turned around. For the first time this year, music is part of the curriculum for students at Robert Frost 6th Grade Academy.

"It is amazing that every student in this building is part of either band, orchestra or choir," said Nicole Lear, the band director.

First year principal Faith Stroud decided to make music a priority because she knows how it can influence the rest of her students' education.

"Students who participate in music programs do better with reading comprehension," Stroud said. "They do better academically. They do better with attendance."

"Music is also math," said Ty Carver, the orchestra director. "We are subdividing and multiplying within fractions of a second while we're playing."

But as much as Carver can see the educational advantages, he and the other music teachers struggle with the school's several key disadvantages: not enough instruments for all the students and not enough money to buy them. They're hoping people out there can dig down deep and help them find the right note.

"We just have a great need for just about every instrument that is there," Lear said.

"We are actually looking for a new piano," said Samantha Stapleton, choir director at Frost Academy.

"Everything from string base down to little tiny violins," Carver said.

"Some people forget they may have that trombone stashed in a closet at their grandmother's house," said Lear.

At $200 for a student flute to $4,000 for a tuba, musical education costs add up but the Robert Frost Academy teachers believe it could be just the right instrument for these students' future.

"This is just another avenue that will help them get to what their bigger dream is," Stroud said.

Robert Frost 6th Grade Academy will take any instrument you have at home whether it's working or not. They'll fix it or use the parts to fix other instruments.

If you'd like to give cash to support the music program, it goes without saying that they'll take that as well because they've truly bought into the idea that this can change their students' lives.

Update: Robert Frost leaders say they have enough pianos now, but still need musical instruments for band and orchestra.  Call 502-485-8256 to donate.

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