For years, the Academy’s Kids Out Loud program has been a smash success with R.S. Payne and T.C. Miller here in Lynchburg. Now, the Academy hopes to expand the program into surrounding county elementary schools.
Kids Out Loud was founded by Paddy Dougherty, a local singer-songwriter. With Dougherty’s guidance and encouragement, students from the 3rd to 5th grades write and perform their own songs. In the past, songs have been “Candy, Candy, Candy,” a celebration of everything about Halloween, and “The Quiet Game,” a song about discovering that the quiet game is a nefarious conspiracy by adults.
Besides storytelling, students have also been inventing songs engineered to help with studying. One part of the program, Can’t Beat Math, helps kids learn basic tricks for mastering the mysteries of mathematics.
“Kids Out Loud lets students learn creative problem solving skills through song lyrics together as a class. Afterward they have the opportunity to perform these songs for peers and family, which helps improve self-confidence and self-expression.”
Right now there are plans to bring Kids Out Loud to Bass Elementary School and over the course of the next few years, to schools in the counties surrounding Lynchburg.
In a time when schools’ arts budgets have been dramatically reduced, Kershner sees the potential in Kids Out Loud to help children understand why not only music, but the arts as a whole, matter in their lives.
“What’s really powerful about it is that these kids are really expressing things that they’re genuinely excited about and doing on a day-to-day basis.”
By Chad Denton
Thank you to Baird Financial, Walmart Foundation, and the Genworth Foundation for helping to make community outreach possible. Learn more about the Academy’s Community Outreach Programs: academycenter.org/community-outreach