A Virginia school used a grant to purchase new ukuleles for a music therapy program for students with special needs.
Inside a classroom at Woodlawn Elementary School there are sweet songs and smiles all around. The music therapy program uses harmonies as a way of healing.
"A lot of times it’s just really difficult to have conversation about things that are emotional or things that are personal," said Jenna Pietrandrea, a music therapy teacher at Woodlawn Elementary School said. "So when we use our music, it eliminates kind of that barrier to communication."
The kids write songs based on how they’re feeling and sometimes, what’s been bugging them.
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"It is so much fun just seeing their little faces when they’re like, 'Oh, you’ve gotta hear this song, you’ve gotta hear it,'" Pietrandrea said.
Pietrandrea also uses music to teach teamwork by making sure kids are in tune with each other’s needs.
"I just really enjoy having that time to make music with someone who’s so open and receptive to learning something new," Pietrandrea said.