Making Connection Monday: Music comes to life in Mr. Schamme's music class at @AltonElementary #IChooseBrenham #BISDwired

When most adults reflect on their music education experience, few memories include SMART boards, websites, and software. However, today’s elementary music classroom looks different and the Brenham ISD music education program is staying on the cutting edge. Thanks to new curriculum, Quaver’s Marvelous World of Music, and music educators like Chris Schramme at Alton Elementary School, BISD elementary students are being engaged in a fun and interactive music experience.

Chris Schramme is a 2003 Brenham High School graduate who majored in music education at Texas Tech University and received his degree in 2007. Chris spent four years in West Columbia and one year in Stafford as Band Director before moving back home to Brenham to accept the position at Alton Elementary School three years ago. Chris’ father, Gary Schramme, has been a technician for the Brenham ISD Technology Department for many years, so it was no surprise that Chris was an early adopter of technology use in his music classroom. Chris expressed that the new curriculum makes it easy to get the kids moving and interacting with the SMART board and with digital materials. Students are no longer expected to just sit and sing songs. Now, they get to move, dance, watch videos and play games.

Although technology is a daily part of Chris’ classroom, his favorite time is when the recorders come out in January. Chris shared that the kids love this unit and that using the instruments takes him back to his band directing days. In addition to music lessons, Chris is also responsible for planning three major programs for the campus including Veteran’s Day in November, Christmas in December and Black History in February. These student performances, partnered with engaging instruction in the classroom, will prepare Alton students for band or choir when they enter sixth grade. Chris said his goal is for the band or choir director to recognize his students years from now and say, “Man, I bet those kids are from Alton!”