When the pandemic started, a Fort Worth ISD orchestra teacher saw an opportunity to connect with people through live music. He started doing front porch concerts around Dallas-Fort Worth.
"It's a very, kind of, therapeutic experience," Armond Vance said. "That was really what I think was needed right now; those type of musical connections at a time when we're really lacking in social interaction."
Vance is an orchestra teacher at William James Middle School in Fort Worth. He started playing the violin when he was 12 years old -- the age of many of his students. Vance said it's important for his diverse students to see him, a 24-year-old Black man, playing a classical instrument like the violin.
"If you don't see yourself represented in a certain field, you can develop a subconscious feeling as if you don't necessarily belong," Vance said. "Just because you don't see yourself represented doesn't mean that space isn't for you now. You just got to make a seat for yourself at the table."
The latest news from around North Texas.
Vance said the pandemic has helped him find that seat in yards across North Texas. His music is a mash-up of classical and current.
"This whole experience has really allowed me to grow into my most authentic, artistically realized self," Vance said. "I get these human connections, these authentic connections with people just in their own space."
Connections at a time when we all have to keep our distance.
"I really learned how much people love music," Vance said. "Especially live music."