Walking down the fifth-grade hallway of Walter Bickett Elementary, you can hear the musical instruments filling a small area of the school affectionately called The Pit. It is a musician’s dream with natural lighting and pitch-perfect acoustics. At the head of the room is music teacher Joseph Girgenti and following his lead are 31 enthusiastic students with clarinets, flutes, trumpets and trombones.
At the end of the 2020-2021 school year, Girgenti and Principal Dr. Elenia Daniels wanted to bring back the band program. They aligned and adjusted the school schedule for students to join during the school day, which was not traditional.
“There are students who want to try band but have other responsibilities or have to take the bus home. It makes it hard for them to commit to an after-school activity,” said Girgenti. “We turned band into an elective, two days a week, during recess. I asked students to practice at home too. I wasn’t sure how that would be received. I was pleasantly surprised when we had 32 instruments and 31 students sign up.”
Read the rest of the story on the Union County Public Schools website here: https://bit.ly/3tzhybm.
Learn more about Girgenti at the Teacher Spotlight section of the NCMEA website: Teacher Spotlight – Joseph Girgenti.