Elementary music teacher DeKalb says student smiles are worth it – Shaw Local

DeKALB – Brianne Borgman says she gets chills hearing her students express themselves through music during her classes at elementary schools in Jefferson and Malta.

Although Borgman has been teaching music for 18 years, she began her career in DeKalb District 428 this year. When she arrived at DeKalb, Borgman said she was impressed with all the supplies available to her, what she called her beautiful music room, and the welcome guidance from the district administration.

As she prepared for the school year last fall, she said she was excited to meet her students in person. Learning about the faces and names of her students, she initially felt overwhelmed trying to make that connection while they were wearing masks, she said.

So it was even better to learn their language through music.

“I got chills every time a student was able to express themselves through their artwork or their music,” Borgman said. “The arts are what bring us together at the root of who we are. They make us human beings and are essential for a child’s growth and development in life.

Parker Weller, a 9-year-old at Jefferson Elementary School, is in Borgman’s music class. He said he was also interested in music outside of school and was also learning to play the guitar.

“It calms me down sometimes when I’m angry and stuff,” Parker said. “I wrestle and before a wrestling tournament I use music to cheer me up.”

Parker said what he loves most about Borgman’s music class is that he learns “a lot of awesome things” from her.

“I’m learning a few chords on ukuleles and drums and [playing] my recorder,” Parker said.

Parker said he also recently took part in the school’s spring singing concert with Borgman.

“It was a bit nerve-wracking at times, but I was thrilled to be with my friends and sing along,” Parker said.

Reflecting on what it might be like to have no music at school, Parker said he wouldn’t learn to play an instrument.

“I would be sad at times,” he said.

Fourth-grader Mason VanderBleek, also Borgman’s current music student at Jefferson Elementary School, said he would describe Borgman’s temperament as pleasant.

“I think it’s a break from other things, like math,” Mason said. “Then I don’t have to do this. …Because sometimes it can get really boring.

Mason said he looks forward to ukulele lessons in Borgman’s class.

“I think it will be, like, different. I’m excited,” he said. “…I like it because I like to play instruments.”

Borgman said it was heartwarming to hear the reasons Parker and Mason enjoyed his music class.

“I’m glad the music class was a positive for you,” Borgman told Parker. “I know I like teaching it to you.”

Spring means his students are picking up, too, Borgman said, healthier and ready to learn.

“We are making progress as the students are starting to show a lot of growth,” she said. “Seeing them sing, play instruments, dance and even put on a wonderful concert for their parents was amazing. Families can once again hear their students’ music. It’s amazing after a few years of not being able to do it.

Emily Weller, Parker’s mother, said this year was the family’s first year with Ms Borgman. She also announced the spring concert.

“There were so many songs about peace that it really brought tears to my eyes at certain performances,” said Emily Weller. “Because it’s like that’s what it’s all about, you know? And it brings everyone together. »

Borgman said the students are so proud of what they’ve accomplished in class and showed it with many thank-you notes.

“Now that masks are optional, I’ve seen many student smiles and it’s amazing,” Borgman said. “Their smiles are worth it.”

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