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Students In Pennsylvania School District Perform Porch Concerts


Music students in northeastern Pennsylvania are turning their streets into concert halls.


UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Singing) Close your eyes and I'll kiss you. Tomorrow, I'll miss you.

MARTIN: That's Tyler Ruddy (ph) playing drums on his front porch with his dad. He's one music student who didn't have a spring recital this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Megan Wilski-Schneider is band director at Wyoming Valley West Middle School.

MEGAN WILSKI-SCHNEIDER: At first, they were very disappointed. They really did miss out on a lot. And what I hear from a lot of parents and students is that they're feeling isolated.

MARTIN: Then she saw on the news that another school district had its students perform at home.

WILSKI-SCHNEIDER: There was a picture of a little girl. She was wearing a tutu. And she had her saxophone ready to play. And there was something that touched me so deeply. She just wanted to play music for the people in her community. And it really felt, to me, like it could translate to our community.

MARTIN: She got her district to hold front-porch concerts. Seventy of her middle schoolers took part. Her 8-year-old son, Patrick (ph), played, too.


PATRICK: I play the trumpet. I used to play the piano.

WILSKI-SCHNEIDER: He's asked his whole life to play trumpet. And I finally allowed him because he finally has his front teeth. For him, it was really his first ever performance.

PATRICK: I played "Lightly Row." I played "Hot Cross Buns." It's pretty funny. I liked getting to play outside for everybody in my neighborhood.

MARTIN: Wilski-Schneider says, on some streets, you could hear three or four instruments playing.

WILSKI-SCHNEIDER: There's something magical about a small child with an instrument.


WILSKI-SCHNEIDER: It doesn't matter if they're playing "Hot Cross Buns" or they're playing a concerto. It's just special because it comes from their heart.


MARTIN: This final performer is Juliette Peterson, one of dozens of Pennsylvania students who played music for their neighbors.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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