Chorus and Confidence at KFMS
Picture a large classroom with tiered, theater-like floors and a high ceiling. The students have all gone home…
“When students come into my classroom, I want them to feel comfortable and GROW confident,” says Mrs. Lawton, our King’s Fork Middle School Choir Director. “Confidence comes through experience, practice, and appreciation. Never to be underestimated — the satisfaction a student gets through a successful performance can sometimes change the child.”
When it comes to Peanut Fest, the Peanut Fest experience is for the students. I tell the students “The performance is for the audience, and your reward (students) comes from the audience’s reaction.” And, when the audience really responds – wow! Students “brighten up” and become more enthusiastic about the music AND themselves. They look forward to the next performance, and the next. In the daily routine of student life, this all comes back to building a more confident student with greatly improved people skills.
Mrs. Lawton gestures casually with her arm, “When I’m in here, I try to expand the students’ minds in music. I want them to see the immense variety and relevance.” For example, “When hurricane Maria swept through, I had them sing Maria from Sound of Music and Maria from West Side Story. Hey, there is a hurricane out there named Maria; and, guess what! There is music about Maria.” Mrs. Lawton goes on to state, “There is music for everything — speaking from the vantage point of a life in the arts, I probably have more than four or five songs on my mind at any one time.” “This is why… I do what I do. When I see the kids on the stage, and the satisfaction they have, this is how I know I’ve done my job.”
[Comment direct from the writers: Mrs. Lawton has “done her job” for 38 years. Think of the many, many confident, enriched students dispersed into the world. Ninety-nine percent of Mrs. Lawton’s discussion was about her students, but we couldn’t resist reflecting some attention back at her.]