Grade three to grade five student performers at Rainbow Creek Elementary School had parents leaving in tears after watching their rendition of Broadway Beat on May 29, and May 30.
“It was amazing. It was outstanding, the student performers did such a good job,” said Rainbow Creek Elementary School Music Teacher Cassandra Martin.
“Parents and family friends were leaving in tears. I was almost in tears because I was so excited at how much they liked it,” Martin said.
After the performances, Martin had some parents relating to her how they were shocked at how well their children performed, while other parents told her it was hands down one of the best performances they have ever seen.
“I had someone comment that the students looked like professional child actors, they were so good,” Martin said.
To ensure the performances proceeded well, Martin spent countless hours writing scripts, and creating backgrounds, all while teaching her students the songs, and how to act.
Martin began teaching her students the song “We Go Together” from the musical Grease in September. However, they didn’t fully begin to rehearse until the Spring.
Any student who didn’t want a speaking part within the musical were able to work only on their songs during class time, while Martin taught the other students some basic drama techniques and how to use the microphones properly.
This was the first year Martin had students at the grade three, four, and five levels perform solos.
“The students who had the solos did a phenomenal job,” Martin said.
She added, coaching and coaxing the students out of their comfort zones to talk and sing loudly, while having the courage to perform on stage in front of their parents was exciting.
A hit among parents during the performances was when a student performed a song from Annie as Miss Hannigan.
“She was a big meanie on stage, and it was hilarious,” Martin said.
Although the students did emerge out of their comfort zones, getting to that point required many classes.
The students learned how to perform correctly by being on stage in front of their classmates, who would clap and cheer whenever they did something correctly.
“In the beginning it was slow, but when the performers realized they were going to get applause when they did it right, they started getting excited. As rehearsals continued it got better and better,” Martin said.
Despite the long hours Martin put into ensuring the musical was the best it could be, watching the students have fun on stage made all the hard work worth it.
“Seeing that happen, that’s why we become teachers. Sometimes being a teacher can be hard, but those special moments make it all worth it,” she said.
Teaching music to students is essential for the brain, Martin added. It creates neuroplasticity in the brain, which allows students to excel in every other area of their life.
“There is better way to work the brain than music. It activates every area of the brain at the same time,” Martin said.
Learning music and being involved in the performing arts enhances students’ lives, and it can be used as an outlet in a world of mental maladies, Martin said.
She added, “It can be a way to express feelings, and it’s a great way to channel and release energy and emotions.”