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By Arusha Vegt, Development Director

Intermediate music teacher Rosa

Ononeze has always loved music as

a way to worship God, contribute to

her community, and relieve stress. In

teaching students in Grade 4 through

6, she appreciates how excited

they are by the novelty of playing

instruments, and wants to build on

that excitement to give them the gift

of music that has been so vital in her

own life.

This year, Grade 6 students picked up

a band instrument for the first time.

Rosa noticed something unique to the

COVID-19 era that we are in, “Over

the past 18 months we’ve been taught

to keep our breath inside our bodies,

and so to go from that to taking a

big breath and releasing it has been

tough on the children. They have to

switch their mindset and know that

they are in an open and safe space to

do that.”

The band class has been especially

safe because of their unusually big

classroom: the sanctuary of the

church across the street! Rosa notes

that while there are some challenges

in using a non-classroom space for a

classroom (there are no whiteboards

in the sanctuary!), there are some

unexpected blessings. “The sound

is phenomenal!” Rosa explains.

“When they play and sing, the sound

reverberates around the room and

the students feel good about the

sound they are producing.”

The elementary Christmas concert

will be available as a video once

again this year, including musical

performances from all grades as well

as a special arts component.


Grade 6 band having music class at New Westminster

Christian Reformed Church’s sanctuary

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