Exceptional students hold recital at South Side Elementary

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 12, 2017

Thursday morning, students in the exceptional education program at South Side held their annual recital for friends and family at the school cafeteria.
For the past 12 years, Dr. Earl Fox, the music teacher at South Side, has worked with exceptional students to give them the opportunity to showcase their skills, he said.
After yearlong rehearsals twice a week in the music classroom, the students gathered on stage as the curtains were drawn.
“You never know what is going to happen,” Fox said, adding that last year the curtains wouldn’t open, creating a slight hiccup in the performance.
But when the curtains opened smoothly this year, the students seemed anxious but excited to begin the recital, performing some songs they’ve practiced all year, and some they learned last month.
Fox also brought in instruments like bells, wooden blocks and cymbals for the students to use during the performance.
Attending music class and preparing for the recital allows them to study a new skill, Fox said.
“Studies have shown that students who study music achieve better academically and score better on standardized tests,” he said.
They also just simply love it, their teacher Melissa Bertucci said.
“It’s so special to see how these students are able to perform despite their disabilities,” South Side Principal Debbie Smith said. “It gives them an opportunity to show what they can do.”
The cafeteria was filled with smiles during their performance Thursday morning from parents, teachers and the students on stage.
“Dr. Fox is phenomenal with the students,” Smith said, adding that he received the Picayune School District Teacher of the Year award this year.
“They really enjoy performing for their parents…but they really look forward to the cake afterward,” Fox said.

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About Julia Arenstam

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