Having just moved into the area, the Henderson/Lopez family was looking for an after-school activity that would immerse their children in culture and the arts. Their twins, Alicia and Steven, are third graders at Askew Elementary School, where Music Doing Good in Schools is offering the program for the second year. Mr. Henderson states, “We were looking for something where they could use their skills. They are very talented naturally. They’ve always been good at singing and have gotten along with others well, so we thought this would be a good fit.”
When asked if they listen to music at home, the entire family responded with, “Oh yes! We listen to Queen, David Bowie, opera, classical music, and the Little Mermaid! We love listening to Hamilton…it’s our favorite. We also love Phantom of the Opera!” In addition to Music Doing Good in Schools, both children are involved in choir at school, four days a week.
Every Sunday evening, the Henderson/Lopez family schedules two to three hours of preparation for rehearsals for the coming week. Both parents help the twins memorize lines, learn their song lyrics and study the entire script so that they are prepared to step into any role in the production. While they are taking Music Doing Good in Schools very seriously, they are also managing to have loads of fun doing it! The Henderson/Lopez family is quickly becoming our model family.
“Ms. Ussery is pretty clear about students being prepared, so we really wanted to help our children to be prepared and succeed. I started running lines with Steven. We played around with developing the characters,” says Mr. Henderson. “We even learned a song that some of the other kids sing, just to be prepared. We went over it about 10 times to get it right,” adds Steven.
After very long work days as a nurse, Mrs. Henderson confesses that her husband is really driving the rehearsals, but she loves to see their progress each week and gets lots of love and support from her family, including their miniature hamster, Tini.
It’s worth seeing if your child likes doing it. It’s worth it for the socialization. Alicia was pretty shy at first, even though she’d been in a play last year, but she’s really opening up. It’s a great way to help build their confidence level and that they can be part of something bigger than themselves,” says Mrs. Lopez about the effect of Music Doing Good in Schools on the twins.
When asked if they’ve seen any changes in their children, Mr. Henderson answers, “The children seem more confident. They are becoming more comfortable with dance moves and singing. They are becoming more extroverted. There are leadership qualities coming out in them.” And these are exactly the kinds of qualities that Ms. Ussery strives to develop in her students.
Alicia concludes our interview by saying of Music Doing Good in Schools, “They help us and get us to open up, they want us to learn and have fun at the same time. And they want to help us so we can have a good life.”
We are grateful to the Henderson/Lopez family for their dedication and commitment to Music Doing Good in Schools! Don’t miss “Runaway Blues” on May 10th at The Hobby Center. Tickets can be purchased HERE.