Students rock the classroom

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Greg Thomas

Students often gather by ability or by song interest.

Greg Thomas

While some students grab their yoga mats and others bring a dish to share for their learning connections, students in the jam session learning connection come together with guitars strapped to their backs.

“The purpose of learning connection is to have a time embedded throughout the school day for students to receive enrichment and remediation in academics, or they can do something social, something different then what they have been doing all day,” Assistant Principal Rochelle Lofstrand said. Students choose from different connections like fashion, potluck, and video gaming.

For the jam session connection, musicians, band members, and students who just love to hear music enjoy 45 minutes of free expression gather in room 202.

Science teacher Christopher Watkinson presented the connection idea after remembering his love for music in high school. “So I thought back to what I was doing in high school and a bunch of my buddies started a band together. I thought that was something kids at this school would be interested in,” he said.

Once the connection began he was surprised at the interest level. “We got kids of all different instruments, abilities, styles and interest level in music.”

Anyone walking by the room hears students playing guitar, drums, and even piano. Sometimes Watkinson himself grabs the guitar and plays with the students.

Many students in the connection enjoy being a part of the learning connection because of the freedom it gives them as students and artists. Junior Conner Mack enjoys the connection because of the time he has to write songs “I love Jam Session because I get to write. I get to write songs for my band The Caste Outs, and it’s fun to show people what you can do.”

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Jam session appeals to other musicians as well, and some students outside of the connection often check in to see what’s going on. “I have a strong love for music and there are a lot of diverse artists in there,” junior Zakari Moore said.

A lot of times it’s hard for students to find a place that makes them comfortable. Senior James Mixon said jam session gives him a home feeling. “When I walk into jam session every Thursday, I feel in a sense at home because music is what I do and what I’ve been doing all my life, so to have a class where you can just go in and work on your music, write songs and play guitar and do whatever you do makes you feel real confident..”

After spring break students will have a chance to pick all new learning connections.