Music class a success
It’s a joyful bunch, the group of Pueblo West High School students in the adaptive music class. Taught by band director Patrick Smith, the group of ESS students listens to music, plays games and gets involved with music in the fun and high-spirited class.
Smith started the class a year ago as a trial, and with its success again this semester, it will become a year-round class next fall.
The class is an elective that ESS students can choose to take, and one they seem to love.
“They have adaptive P.E. class, so I thought, ‘Why not music?’” Smith said.
“The first semester went over so well, and it’s been a lot of fun.”
Smith said the class is a great break for the students during the day because it’s more loosely structured than many other classes.
There is lots of dancing, movement, games and interaction, which is also a huge plus for the students and many of the para professionals that help them.
“They’re learning social skills in this class,” Smith said.
“And getting a break in their day, I think it really helps the ESS department a lot.”
Smith acts as the D.J. for the class, playing favorites like the Hokey Pokey and the Chicken Dance, or radio favorites as requested by students.
There are lots of smiles all around.
“It’s very hard to leave this class in a bad mood!” Smiths aid.
“These kids just know fun.”
There are usually around 16-18 students in the class on a given day, handicapped in various ways.
The class usually meets in the lunchroom of the school, so there’s plenty of room to spread out and move.
Games involve large inflatable balls and a giant parachute.
Class ends with a high five for Smith from each student, generally accompanied by a big smile.
“This class is a total kick,” he said. “It’s so fun.”