By Ryan Michaels
The Birmingham Times
In the midst of the pandemic, Tamara Travis, music teacher at Birmingham’s Epic Elementary School, noticed that her students were trying to play their instruments with their band books on beds, tables, steps and on the floor during Zoom remote learning.
“I would always tell them that in order to get good sound [of music], you need to have good posture, so we needed some music stands,” she said.
On Friday, 76 student musicians at the south Birmingham school received all new music stands from a $1,000 grant through a Classroom Grant from the Alabama Power Foundation.
Travis, who applied for the grant, thanked Alabama Power and parents who purchased all of the trumpets, trombones, percussion and other instruments.
It’s necessary that children are exposed to musical skills early, the teacher said. “We feed the middle school and the high schools so in order for us to have a wonderful fine arts program in Birmingham City Schools it starts here,” Travis said.
She added that the “community partnership” with the power company makes a difference.
Kaylon Mikula, a community development specialist at Alabama Power, said, “We at the Alabama Power Foundation believe that music is something that helps the children with their studies, it helps them to stay focused in future endeavors. It’s very rewarding to see how hard they work to master their craft, and they are very dedicated, and it builds a skillset of discipline.”
Teachers like Travis devote their lives to make sure students “have opportunities to experience the arts,” Mikula said.
She added that teaching 76 students cannot be easy, “but we know that someone has to do it, and we are so grateful for someone like [Travis] to take care of that for us.”
Updated at 9:52 a.m. on 10/16/2021 for clarifications. Updated at 9:26 a.m. on 10/20/2021 to correct the name of the grant awarded to the school.