The first time music teacher Stacy Caldwell heard one of her students play a bucket drum during class, she knew that a special talent had walked through her door.
Grasping a pair of drumsticks, 10-year-old Alijah effortlessly improvised a quick rhythmic cadence on a plastic blue bucket, leaving Caldwell stunned and impressed.
She asked him if he’d ever had lessons, and found out he was self-taught.
Alijah went on to explain that he used to have a set of drums, but they burned down two years ago when his house caught fire.
Ever since the fire, the boy still sought out ways to pursue his love for music.
Aside from school, Alijah also played drums at church and a local Guitar Center music store.
Caldwell, who teaches at Wilmeth Elementary School in McKinney, Texas, knew she had to pair this kid’s talent with the right tools to excel as a musician.
It wasn’t only Alijah’s talent that Caldwell found inspiring, it was his character. She described him as kind and compassionate, always wearing a smile in the hallway.
If anyone was deserving of something special, it was this kid, so Caldwell rallied her friends and community to buy the boy his very own set of drums.
She called him into her class and explained that she had a very special surprise for him.
But first, she encouraged him by telling him he was a talented musician and that she appreciated not only his love for music, but his character.
As Alijah watched with anticipation, Caldwell lifted a colored parachute off several awkwardly-shaped objects in her music room to reveal the boy’s very own drum set.
His eyes lit up with joy while his hands flew to his face in disbelief.
He embraced his teacher with a massive hug, as she continued to explain who’d bought him the set, and what else was in store for him.
Caldwell said that other community members want to supply the boy with an electric drum set, which is ideal for home practice since it takes up less space and has an adjustable volume control.
“We all believe in you and we want you to have the tools that you need to be successful,” Caldwell told the boy.
Eagerly, Alijah sat down and began to play, naturally as could be.
Rhythm is in this kid’s blood, and thanks to a thoughtful, encouraging music educator, he has the opportunity to pursue his passion.
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