Program called Music Doing Good in Schools helping HISD students tap into talents

March 23, 2013 8:27:08 PM PDT
About 60 students from MacGregor Elementary, Stevenson Middle School and Wheatley High School spent their day off in a different kind of classroom -- a recording studio.

After weeks of working after school through a special program called Music Doing Good in Schools, it was performance day.

Their inspiration comes from different places. For 16-year-old and co-writer Crystal Scott, it was her grandmother.

"It lets me be free," she said.

Scott is one of dozens of students at KTSU's recording studio, located on the campus of Texas Southern University, showing her talent. But getting to this day took a lot of hard work for the students ages 7 to 18.

Aisha Ussery is the program director and a professional artist herself who has taught fine arts in HISD.

"They have leadership skills, they are building confidence and they are just excited to be here and they are having a blast," Ussery said.

She's coaching them every step of the way, even as they get overwhelmed at the site of a film crew.

"Yes you are stars, and that's so important for our kids to understand today -- that they are stars, that they are worthy and mean something and they will continue to succeed when they have a positive self worth," Ussery said.

The directors of the program say the benefits include a healthy alternative that helps the students make more positive choices and less likely to give in to social pressures more likely to succeed in school and at home.

"I used to wish and dream that I would be in a music video one day and the dream's come true," nine-year-old Lamyia Styles said.

The students have written all parts of the song and have learned everything from music skills to poetry and dance in after school workshops.

Scott dreams of a career in performing.

"I wanted to show people that hip hop is fun and it's not all about violence. You can see the good in it," she said.

This will be a day in the spotlight she'll never forget.

The students' recording will be used in the presentation of One Stop Hip Hop Shop, a Music Doing Good in Schools student performance at the Hobby Center on May 10.

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