Music Gives the Soul A Voice

By Samantha Streit

I walked into E K Powe Elementary on a Monday afternoon and was instantly welcomed by the energetic, joyful kindergarten, first, and second grade Kidznotes students. I have had the honor of photographing these incredible students on Mondays and Wednesday thanks to Ms. Laughinghouse and Dr. Reggie so kindly welcoming me into their classroom. Kidznotes makes what goes on in the classroom more universal through music. Learning music raises students achievement in school, equalizing the playing field in the classroom. Students begin by learning how to sing. They learn how to read music and eventually incorporate their paper violins into the songs and dances.

I hope to pursue a major in Theater Studies and then audition and perform as a professional actress in New York City, my hometown. I plan to also continue making public service a priority, focusing my career on telling impactful stories and using the arts as a vehicle to create social change. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to combine my passion for music and using the arts for social change to create a project that portrays the impact the arts can have on individuals. My junior year of high-school, I created MAD Music (Making a Difference Music). I brought together school musicians to perform at Senior Centers, our school, and at fundraisers.

Music forges lasting connections between people. It gives people a voice and hope. MAD Music gave me the opportunity to help people overcome boundaries through sharing their voices, identities, and stories with each other. I hope to continue working on similar projects like Kidznotes throughout my Duke career and the rest of my life.