String Instruments Connect Students to Success Throughout School Day

The program was developed by a violinist who believes if students can learn to play complex music, they can learn anything

Every day, educators are finding unique ways to reach students and help them learn. It's not something new. Long before the iPads and smartboards, educators relied on more basic ways to teach, and they're still getting the job done today.

In Mrs. Adams classroom at Lakewood Elementary, young minds are taught to read and understand music by playing string instruments.

Ella first picked up the cello in kindergarten. She and her peers of various ages play music together. They're not just feeling the music, but making better grades.

"The music challenges me, and when I get to other classes, it's easier to take a challenge," sixth-grader Gwen Lay said.

The program is called Suzuki Strings, developed by a Japanese violinist who believes every child has the potential to play complex music. He believes if they learn that, they can learn anything.

"Music is everything, music is math, music is science, there’s history behind it," teacher Katie Adams said.

"All of learning music is fractions, like the quarter notes and the eighth notes, and so I've had some teachers come up to me like, 'We’re going to learn fractions, and they're like, 'Oh we already learned this in Mrs. Adams class.'

Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD has been teaching Suzuki Strings, well, since Mrs. Adams was known as Katie.

"So I started playing in fourth grade when the Suzuki program came to my school," she said. "It was the very first year it was open and I was like, 'I'm going to be a Suzuki teacher.'"

Back then, the HEB ISD student even told her teacher she would take her job one day.

Well guess what.

"She actually retired the year I took this job," Adams said.

Now she's back teaching others how the music helped her through high school, college and just through life. From the sounds of it, the cycle is starting all over again.

"It's cool because you get to learn new life skills as you have fun, and learn a new instrument that some kids don't get to do," fifth-grader Grant Pittman said.

HEB ISD offers it's Suzuki Strings program in several schools throughout their district, preparing them until they're ready for orchestra.

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