WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — March is Music In Our Schools Month, and one Palm Beach County elementary school is proud of its new tune after a devastating loss.
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Every sound comes with a lesson in Alondra Bahls-Mariles' music class at Northboro Elementary School in West Palm Beach.
"I try to make every moment a memorable moment, because I don't know who I'm inspiring to be a future musician," Bahls-Mariles said.
Like trumpet player Jesus Ramos.
"I get better every time when I try it," Ramos said.
Or fourth grade student Inara Brown.
"What I love about music is it goes so far back in time and it's beautiful," Brown said. "It's full of instruments and different things to try every time you come."
"They're just excited to be here," Bahls-Mariles said. "They're excited to play. Everything is new and shiny for them."
Bahls-Mariles took over the program in August after former music teacher James Bonner passed away unexpectedly last year. He had led the program for decades.
"It took weeks for our students to recover, but our staff as a whole as well," Principal Chanda Kinlaw said. "Students actually asked a lot of questions. They wanted to know when we were going to be able to get started with another music program."
Bahls-Mariles displays Bonner's instruments around the classroom to keep his memory alive, as she finds her own tune.
"It's just a note to him to see how well he developed the program," Bahls-Mariles said.
As Northboro Elementary School works to rebuild the program from the ground up, they're also dealing with shipping delays. Xylophones that were ordered back in November finally arrived recently, allowing the program to hit the right note.
Bahls-Mariles calls it a blessing to be back in the classroom after COVID-19, where the students' creativity can flourish.
"Our students need to work together," Bahls-Mariles said. "They need to work together. They are missing that, and when they miss that, they don't know how to blossom."
As they carry on the music.
"All I do is try my best to meet that level, to keep the journey going," Bahls-Mariles said.