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Timmons Arts Foundation funds saxophone for Mablevale Middle School Student

 

Mablevale Middle School student, Dawan Heard receives a new Alto Saxophone from Timmons Arts Foundation President, Theresa Timmons, during Designers Choice  Fashion Preview Fashion Show

Mablevale Middle School student, Dawan Heard receives a new Alto Saxophone from Timmons Arts Foundation President, Theresa Timmons, during Designers Choice Fashion Preview Fashion Show

 

When Mablevale Middle School sixth grader Dawan Heard received an alto saxophone thanks to grant funding from the Timmons Arts Foundation, he got more than a shiny new horn with which to play music. He also received a key that opens doors to creativity, reasoning, teamwork and self confidence.

“I always say music is brainpower,” said Heard’s band teacher, Henry Scott.  “It helps you multi-task, reading notes and fingering notes on the instrument. So my kids reason well. There’s so much they have to do, to deal with, reasoning comes as second nature to them.”

And Heard, though late to start process, has had no problem catching up.

“He’s been making enormous progress,” Scott said. “Most kids start in August.  Dawan started right before the Christmas break … and now he’s coming to practice with the others and playing.

“And that’s important, because it’s different when you’re playing with others,” Scott continued. “I tell my students you are your brother’s keeper. If even one person is wrong, the whole band is wrong.”

That he’s caught up so quickly is a credit to Dawan’s dedication, said Scott, who noted the horn goes home with him every night for practice. And, per the teacher’s mandate, it comes back every day. Students who forget their instruments get no credit for the day and learn a lesson in responsibility in the process, Scott said.

But that’s a lesson Heard already knows. A diabetic, he takes good care of himself and his health and shows the same attentiveness to his instrument, Scott said.

“He’s very protective and takes great care of it,” the teacher said. “He walks around the halls carrying that horn like he’s carrying a bag of gold.”

And in a way, Scott said, it’s just that. While the school owns and rents instruments out to band students, Dawan wasn’t interested in the horns that were in stock, the tubas, baritones and trombones. He, like a lot of students first learning to play, was interested in an instrument he knew and recognized: the saxophone. But the school just didn’t have one, Scott said.

“There’s just no way the budget can cover every school in the district with everything they need,” he said, noting that’s even with the help of boosters and outside sponsors like churches. So the Timmons Arts Foundation grant that paid for Dawan’s sax was most welcome, Scott said.

“That’s doing something that helps our society, that helps our world on down the line,” he said. “Some people in academics don’t see – though some do – the benefits of fine arts. But when kids are really into it, when they’re in the zone, they can think in and outside of the box. They reason better. And if I can open that door for even one of the many, I can be happy.”

In Dawan’s case, consider it wide open, Scott said.

“You should just see his face when he comes in to play.”

                                                                                                                                                                        BY SPENCER WATSON