Stewart Creek ES music teacher earns grant to enhance classroom instruction

Dr. Russell Ballenger joined Montgomery ISD in the 2020-2021 school year as the music teacher at Stewart Creek ES. His desire to teach ukulele to his students had him borrowing a class set from Madeley Ranch ES, who were gracious enough to share. The Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Elementary Music Instructional Support Program offered a grant opportunity to support Texas music teachers and he took the chance to apply, earning $800 worth of ukuleles for Stewart Creek ES.

The new instruments arrived just before the Thanksgiving holiday and Dr. Ballenger has begun introducing them to his upper elementary students.

“With Stewart Creek-owned ukuleles, students will begin their ukulele study in third grade and continue into fourth and fifth,” Ballenger said.

Watching him present a new instrument to Mrs. Hope’s fourth grade class, it was clear that the students are excited to learn the ukulele. Jaycie Horton shared that she loves playing music and this is going to make music class even more fun!

“I’m excited because it looks like a little guitar,” fourth grader Donovan Hebert said.

Dr. Ballenger doesn’t just plan to introduce the new instruments in classroom instruction, but he looks forward to letting students perform with them in both grade level and Trailblazer choir performances. Congratulations Dr. Ballenger and thank you to TMEA Elementary Music Instructional Support Program for your gift to our Stewart Creek Trailblazers!

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