Spotlight on Yallett, Mother
*Some names have been changed in the following interview for privacy
Q: How have you seen music impact your son Isaiah?
Yallett: Music has impacted Isaiah in a positive way. He has blossomed so much since being a younger child, and it really has opened up his music palate. I have noticed when he is cleaning or doing homework, he listens to music. I think it is a way for him to focus on his task or to relax him.
Q: Has Isaiah had any major challenges as a child that you are willing to share? If so, how do you believe music has helped?
Yallett: Unfortunately, Isaiah has had many challenges as a child. I think he still has them to date. I was a teen mom pregnant with Isaiah at the age of 17 [and] a high school dropout…Joe and I had another child named Lourdes. The four of us had it very hard. Joe and I were still teen parents, both drop outs, [and] no real-life experience. We moved from place to place in [the] Lincoln Heights area and that area is not the best area. We were able to find a stable home in North Hollywood, much safer then Lincoln Heights. Unfortunately, it was not the happiest home…Joe and I divorced in 2013. Isaiah was in 3rd grade at the time and had such a troubled year. My happy son was not the same. School recommended counseling, but counseling did not help. The school and I thought he should do this anyway. The reason being Isaiah did not cry-he held in his emotions. He did not express himself-he held all his anger and [sadness] in. I tried sports, trips, hikes, walks, and it still did not work much. The music program came to our school I believe through a grant. ETM-LA 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 came up with band sign-ups, my son was so excited [and] we attended the meeting. The man holding the meeting let us know that the band was going to be hard work and would take time for the kids to get the hang of [it]. Isaiah picked the saxophone…seeing my baby happy and excited about something was just what he needed, so I went for it. He has since [become] happy, content, [and] more emotionally connected. I see Isaiah with a sense of pride…When my kids come home from a bad day…my daughter will cry and say she is upset. My son will explain what happened and grab his saxophone and play. He has really grown up so much; He has become a wonderful young man. The whole family is proud of him and his accomplishments.
Q: Why do you feel studying music is important for Isaiah and children?
Yallett: I feel that studying music is important because [of] kids like Isaiah that need an outlet-that need more than the basic studying they have to do. It opens their minds to other things in life. It’s a form of expression.
Thank you Yallett for giving so much support to Isaiah and his music!