SOUND MINDS STORIES: The Students Have Their Say

Fame, family, and the trials of ugly handwriting: Sound Minds students tell all.

Fourth grade Sound Minds students Karla, Rick and Nick.

We talked to students at E. M. Downer Elementary School about their experience with the Sound Minds program. With contributions from second graders Mia, Rebecca and Paloma (violin); and fourth graders Yvonne, Anong, Rick, and Michelle (cello), and Karla and Nick (violin).

Why do you like Sound Minds?

Mia—I just like it. The teacher is nice to me and she’s kinda funny.

Rick — It’s fun. You get to make new friends.

Nick — I can make new friends, I can play an instrument and when I grow up… I can be famous and be rich!

Paloma sang the violin song for us. It goes like this:

This is my violin, this is where I put my put my chin.

E, A, D, G are the four strings, and the F-holes let it ring

Here’s the front, here’s the back. If I drop it, IT WILL CRACK!

So I hold in rest position, close to me as you can see.

Left: Second grader Paloma with her cardboard replica instrument. Right: Fourth grader Yvonne, who just started trying to write her own music, thanks to inspiration from Sound Minds teacher Ms Christine.

Why did you join Sound Minds?

Rebecca—I wanted to join Sound Minds because my sister did it before when she was a little kid. And she was at this school and I saw a picture of her with her violin.

Karla—I joined because my sister used to be here and she was so excited. It’s such a great place to be because you get to hang out with your friends and play music!

Yvonne—The reason I joined Sound Minds is because my sister joined it before me and I wanted to know how it was to have this experience, because other schools don’t have it and I wanted to take the chance I got.

Anong — It’s my start to make my life better, and to make my family happier.

Fourth grader Anong focusing hard in Ms. Amy Leung’s cello class.

Michelle — I joined the program because I thought it was cool and my sister did it. Four people in my family have been in Sound Minds.

Karla — I get to play with my friends and sometimes make new friends through music, and you get to express your emotions.

Rick—In the future, I can become a musician, get a lot of money and be famous!

What do you like most about Sound Minds?

Yvonne—The thing I like most about Sound Minds is that every year you get a hard piece of music and the more you practice, the easier it is to play.

Anong—My favorite part of Sound Minds is that you can educate yourself and learn new things. You can learn something new rather than just like, be boring. It’s better than just going home.

Michelle — There’s just nothing to do at home so now I can just practice the cello.

Rick—The best class in Sound Minds is Ms. Amy Leung’s class, because I get to play my instrument.

Karla—We get to sing and let out our expressions through music. Did you know that your left part of your brain controls your right hand and your right part controls your left hand? I learned that from Miss Christina.

You can support the Sound Minds program and other music education and community engagement initiatives, making a difference in the lives of thousands of people in the Bay Area, when you give during the Fall Matching Challenge—our largest fundraiser of the 2019/20 season. Your gift is matched and your impact doubled through October 31, 2019.  Donate online or call the office at 925.280.2490 for assistance.

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