Spotlight on ETM-LA Student Isaiah
Isaiah has met many challenges from a young age, including growing up in a tumultuous family and unstable home. Concerned about his well-being, his mother Yallett, sought ways to support his emotional development. “[The] school recommended counseling, but counseling did not help. Isaiah did not cry, he held in his anger and sadness. He did not express himself. I tried sports, trips, hikes, walks, and they still did not work. The music program [ETM-LA] came to our school I believe through a grant. It started with singing and he loved it. They taught them instruments and what not. He was always excited.
When Isaiah was in 5th grade, ETM-LA [had] band sign ups, and my son was so excited. Isaiah picked the saxophone. Seeing my baby happy and excited about something was just what he needed, so [we] went for it. He has since [become] happy, content, and more emotionally connected.”
Q: What is your favorite music to listen to?
Isaiah: My favorite music to listen to is rap, reggae, The Beatles, hip-hop, and sometimes Spanish [music] with my grandma. She makes me dance with her all the time.
Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Isaiah: What I want to be when I grow up is a marine biologist, because sea animals need a voice; a computer engineer, because we all need a computer; and, if I am rich, I am going to give every kid a good computer for their home, because we all need one (trust me I know). [I also want to be an] animator, because I love animation, or a famous musician, well, because I love music.
Q: Why do you like music class and playing the saxophone? Can you share how it makes you feel?
Isaiah: I love music class and playing the saxophone, because it is a feeling of freedom and inspires me to play better every time I walk into the classroom. [It] clears my head from everything around me. School can be hard, kids can be mean, and [it] helps me concentrate. It makes me happy. Music helps me through so many tough times in my life – when I feel down or like no one is listening to me – music just clears it up. I hope to one day to do the same for other people and show them how good music is to yourself. I love music so much and playing the saxophone.