Category Archives: Student Spotlight

Spotlight on Clarinet Class

We asked three members of our clarinet class to let you know a little bit about their class and their experience at Tune Up Philly. These are written by a 3rd, 4th and 5th grader. Let me introduce you to our guest bloggers: Marneisha, Marcus, and Ta’Asia.

This week's bloggers: Marcus, Ta'Asia and  Marneisha.

This week’s bloggers: Marcus, Ta’Asia and Marneisha.

Ta’Asia – 9 years old, 3rd Grade, North Philly

My name is Ta’Asia and I play clarinet. I really enjoy my instrument because its a real joy. I really really respect Ms. Agnes because she is my teacher. Ms. Delia and Mr.Paul are really good musicians and role models. Tune Up Philly is a really good program and to me is an honor to be in it. My fellow classmates are Marneisha, Marcus, Turae and Emmanuel and they are a real help to me. I really enjoy my instrument, friends, teachers and Tune Up Philly. I hope that some people out there reading this will consider coming to visit Tune Up Philly.

Marneisha -10 years old, 4th Grade, North Philly

Tune Up Philly is the best. I play the clarinet. It is awesome. My teacher is Ms. Agnes. She is the best. And some times we have Ms. Delia. Ms. Delia play the clarinet too. All my classmates are pretty cool. And we do lots of trips and concerts too. I can play things like Frosty the Snowman, Mary had a little lamb, twinkle twinkle little star and silent night and I can play more. Tune Up Philly is great and I like it. We go on trips like the library. My mom came to that trip and I think we sounded good. So did she. We also had summer classes. We played Billie Jean. And Mr. Paul helps Miss Delia and makes his own songs for us.

Marcus – 11, 5th Grade, Fairmount

I think Tune Up Philly is a great program because we sometimes play fun songs and the clarinet is the best because it play lower than the flute and it has many scales you can play. My best friend is class is Manny he is kinda like the class clown. The others in my class are Marneisha, Ta’Asia and Turae. Marneisha is a nice girl. Ta’Asia is an awesome friend to have and to tell secrets to. Turae is kinda like Manny but she is a girl so sometimes not as funny. I am kind and nice.


Student Spotlight: Tamir Mills

Tamir is in our third grade violin class. He is rapidly advancing on the violin, and always comes to class ready to participate and play! His violin teacher reports that he is making great progress and I can’t wait to hear him on the concert.

But more importantly than that, Tamir is one of our kindest students.

He always says hello to all the teachers, has a kind word for everyone, and is incredibly thoughtful towards his classmates. He is always enthusiastic. According to his grandmother he insisted on coming to Tune Up Philly on a day that he hadn’t come to school, he brought his music teachers valentines, and played with amazing gusto on a concert downtown with the Musicopia String Orchestra.  He is a joy to have in the program, and one of the best peer examples we have to show our other students!


Hard At Work!

Our Second Grade Violin Class, taught by Ms. Mandy Wolman, learns some new music after the concert. Stick it out to the end, there are some priceless smiles!

Student Spotlight:Khalif Winn (Again!)

Although we have so many wonderful students to highlight, and I promise to highlight more of them soon, I feel the need to once again write about Khalif Winn. Everyday Khalif stays after the program with me to help put away all of the instruments, so I end up spending a lot of time talking with him. I think at this point I know all of his sister’s names, that he should wear glasses and doesn’t, and pretty much exactly how he feels about school. Sometimes we sing through the choir songs together and I spent some time teaching him rounds on xylophones that we play in the hallway outside our storage closet if I have a little extra time. He is a music teacher’s dream.

Yesterday he asked me to play a duet with him. He took out his trumpet and I took out a student’s clarinet and we played through “Angels We Have Heard on High” (which he is working on for the Christmas concert) together. I didn’t lead him, I didn’t tell him when, what, or how to play. He exuded an amazing amount of confidence and happiness. When we finished playing he looked at me and said: “Ms. Delia, that was really good. I’m really good at music! Have you heard me sing in choir too? I’m really good at that too!”.

Now, Khalif is a great kid! That’s a pre-existing condition, and Tune Up Philly certainly can’t take the credit for that. But what I do know is that playing the trumpet is giving him an amazing amount of self-confidence that I did not notice in him two months ago. He’s sitting in orchestra with poise and maturity awaiting his turn to play and participate. Music is certainly creating a very positive change in him (although we still have to work on running in the halls).   I have rarely found myself so proud of a child bragging about themself. I can’t wait for him and his classmates to get a chance to play for an audience this weekend!

Meet the Finneys

TaQuan and Tinayah with Ms. Delia - Tune Up Philly Director

We are so excited to begin our year at the People for People Charter School! Close to 60 families are able to take advantage of our program, allowing siblings to progress alongside each other. Meet Taniyah and TaQuan Finney. Taniyah is in second grade studying the Violin, and TaQuan is in the 3rd grade studying Flute.

Trumpet Student – Khalif Winn

Khalif helping to put away all 70 instruments!

After three weeks in Tune Up Philly, fourth grader Khalif Winn has become one of our star students! His trumpet teacher, Dan Wright, says that he is completely focused all the time and by far the most advanced in the class. He walks through the hallways singing the choir songs, and chooses to stay late to help Ms. Delia put away all of the instruments. Last week he proudly played “Twinkle, Twinkle” on his trumpet for younger children in the after-care program.

When we first met Khalif, we weren’t sure he was right for the program. He wouldn’t sit still, he flitted around the classroom and liked to rough house with the other boys. He has certainly proven us wrong and we can’t wait to see him a year from now!