On Christmas Eve, ABC News Nightline re-broadcasted a couple of segments featuring extraordinary school music programs. The first featured Lynn “Zed” Shaw, a high school chorus teacher who built a successful program at J.J. Pierce H.S. in Richardson, TX that spanned decades. A reunion show where Shaw planned to bring back her former students quickly turned to a tribute show when Shaw passed away from breast cancer that had been in remission but returned aggressively after the plans for the show were in motion.
The other featured the story of Gregg Beinberg, music teacher at P.S. 22 in Staten Island, NY. Known as “Mr. B” to his students.
Many of the students echoed the message regarding the greatest benefit of music education that I discovered as an adolescent – the development of self-confidence (for more info read FROM THE BAND ROOM TO THE BOARDROOM…The 9 Common Lessons of Music Education That Translate into Success) through performance that was a life-changing and transformational experience.
A boy who was described by his mother as painfully shy sings lead vocal in a performance that became an internet sensation: