Last year, the administrators at PS37 in Jamaica, NY said their hands were tied when their music teacher left and they had no money to hire a replacement. the staff tried to rally the parents support a music program, but that quickly hit a dead end. Now, however, Public School 37 has a thriving band directed by one of its students, an 11-year-old pianist and sax player who recognized that his classmates had the need and talent to make great music.

"Music makes this school more alive," said sixth-grader Paul Sheriff, leader of the Cynthia Jenkins School Band. "The school is better with music in it." The band, comprised of a piano, drums, trumpet, sax and other instruments, has performed at a districtwide concert as well as the school’s multicultural festival. Next up is career day and graduation. Paul studied music for a year but now his primary exposure to music is in school and at churches, where he plays at services and weddings. READ MORE ON THIS STORY

Originally posted 2009-04-29 18:47:48.