In a community with a vibrant Hispanic population, North White High School’s music teacher, Leander Hoover wanted to expand the band’s instrument collection, providing opportunities to learn about Latinx music and culture in the classroom.
Mr. Hoover noticed his admittedly small department didn’t offer many, if any opportunities to learn about Latinx music culture. Mr. Hoover explained, “In Latino culture, music (especially percussion) is important to life, fashion, and celebrations. Percussion can be seen and heard at all hours of the day in the market square, dance clubs, hotel lobbies, Quinceañeras, and the like. Percussion is everywhere!”
Percussion is not only a big part of Latinx culture but in the music classroom, percussion instruments are accessible—they can be anything that you can strike, making the possibilities truly endless. Students practicing their percussion at home don’t need to spend thousands on instrument purchases or rentals (for which many families, is not feasible)—they can simply practice on any surface that they can strike, offering flexibility and room for creativity.
With funding from our Summer Grants cycle, the music department at North White High School is now equipped with a new xylophone. A fine investment for their program, xylophones are built to last a lifetime. Students already began learning the inner workings and mechanics of the xylophone when they pieced the instrument together in class—a team-building activity, for certain!
This exciting addition to the band room will not only be enjoyed by percussionists, but Mr. Hoover hopes to spread the joys of percussion across multiple arenas to provide a broad learning experience for all students. “We are eternally grateful to have been selected as a grant recipient from the Community Foundation of White County. Thank you for your support!” Leander J. Hoover, director of Choir/Band.