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Appleton music teachers tell students to ‘Lean on Me’

From the Local 5 Digital Desk

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – The staff at the Appleton Area School District miss their kids.

Music teachers from the district have been virtually meeting each week to discuss how to keep the students engaged.  

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It was during one of those meetings the idea of a collaborative video came to fruition.

Appleton District music teacher, Kadie Smith says she also missed having the outlet of being creative so the idea of melding the two together seemed appropriate.

Smith reached out to other music teachers in the district to join forces. Everyone stepped up to her call and together they created their version of the classic support song, ‘Lean on Me’.

Fellow music teacher, Aaron Roecker laid down a backing track and the rest took about a week to pull together.

Each teacher recorded their section with their phones or laptops and uploaded it Google drive where Smith organized it all.

The choice of song was deliberate. It speaks to the encouragement and comfort the staff wanted the students to take away from it. The song is part of the existing curriculum, taught to the students in the sixth grade. Smith says the hope was for the kids to make the connection with a fun song they already know.

Roecker says it has been challenging to find ways to create and share music that’s new and different than what they are used to.

Smith says, “This was such a blessing to be able to listen to other music teachers and collaborate with them.” Her hope was that the video would reach all of the students in the school district to let them know the staff misses them and are thinking about them, adding, “We’re still making music, even when we’re apart.”

In a message to their students, Smith says, “We miss you a lot and I hope we can get together real soon to make music again… keep working on music at your house and keep singing.”

Roecker added, “We’re thinking of you, we miss you… we’re going to get through this and come out more powerful on the other end of it.”

Appleton Area School District’s ‘Lean on Me’ (full video)

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