A brass player himself, Dan has taught Campbell Elementary and Middle School for three years. Dan teaches kindergarten to 3rd grade general music, 4th grade percussion performing arts and is assistant band director for grades 5-7.
The school is located in a community with many economic challenges. Additionally, the community is very diverse, with a number of residents and students where English is their second language.
Dan’s pBuzz journey began when a local not-for-profit foundation in nearby Youngstown offered grants for innovative classroom projects enhancing reading or mathematics. Dan, knowing the obvious correlation between the ability to read music and reading comprehension and phonics, applied for the grant.
Dan runs a class with his 2nd and 3rd graders called ‘instruments of the orchestra’, where they try out different band instruments. The students struggle to hold regular band instruments such as trombones and tubas, the students are simply not big enough yet – to Dan, the grant seemed like the ideal opportunity to combine an activity the kids were interested in with a method that would improve literacy.
Selected as one of 11 recipients, and with a little extra funding from district, Dan was able to purchase a pBuzz for every 2nd-3rd grade student. Dan had a deadline of a concert in the coming weeks, where his 2nd and 3rd graders needed to be able to play several songs for parents and staff!