New music curriculum pauses a FWCS teacher’s retirement

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Teaching has changed over the last few decades, but a Fort Wayne Community School music teacher says her curriculum mostly stayed the same. That left her questioning her way of teaching.

Laura McCoy has taught at Fort Wayne Community Schools for 41 years. About three years ago, she started planning out her retirement, that’s when she found Little Kids Rock.

McCoy brought Little Kids Rock to her St. Joseph Elementary School classroom 3 years ago. The curriculum incorporates current music from artists like Justin Timberlake and Imagine Dragons.

The students still learn the basics of music, but in a way they better understand. McCoy says in today’s high stakes testing world, teachers spend much of their time focused on academics.

She feels kids need to use their sensory organs through muscles and joints, that’s why she brought guitars into the classroom.

Since incorporating Little Kids Rock, McCoy noticed two differences: the pride the students have in themselves, but also how they act.

“Behavior is the biggest difference, which as a teacher is phenomenal. Okay. My classroom management is almost 0 with these older kids. And it was getting hard because the way I had traditionally been taught to teach and had done and been successful with for many years, there were just so many kids that would just not tune into that or connect to that,” says McCoy.

Little Kids Rock can be found in schools across the U.S. However, all the instruments provided through the program come from right here in Fort Wayne, from Sweetwater Sound.

Little Kids Rock is in 18 FWCS Schools. McCoy says she and the other teachers meet every other Sunday to collaborate. They also formed their own band, so look for a performance soon.

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