SONGER STUDIO
ERIC AWARDED ING UNSUNG HERO GRANT
LAST WINTER, HEIDI SONGER SAW AN OPPORTUNITY CALLED THE ING UNSUNG HERO GRANT AND SEND A QUICK E-MAIL TO HER HUSBAND ERIC.  AFTER A COUPLE WEEKS OF THE E-MAIL SITTING IN THE INBOX, ERIC CHECKED IT OUT, TOOK NOTE OF THE DUE DATE AND STARTED FORMULATING A PLAN FOR A NEW PROJECT CALLED “THE NEXT GENERATION OF MUSIC EDUCATION”.

THE PROJECT HAS ACTUALLY ALREADY BEEN HAPPENING EVER SINCE HEIDI AND ERIC BEGAN TEACHING IN DISTRICT 112.  IT REALLY STARTED BACK IN 2002, WHEN HEIDI AND ERIC FORMULATED A CLASS CALLED SCHOOL OF ROCK GEARED TOWARD STUDENTS WHO WANTED TO LEARN MUSIC THROUGH THE MEDIUM OF ROCK AND ROLL.

WITHIN THREE YEARS, THE GARAGE BAND, BEGINNING GUITAR, MUSIC TECHNOLOGY AND BLUES COMBO WERE ALL NEW GROUP THAT THE COUPLE STARTED.  THIS WAS JUST THE BEGINNING AS ERIC DISCOVERED THE WORLD OF GRANTS GEARED TOWARD EDUCATION.

FRUSTRATED BY THE LACK OF COMPUTERS AND MUSIC SOFTWARE IN THE SCHOOL, ERIC BEGAN APPLYING FOR GRANTS IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THIS TECHNOLOGY.  OVER THE MANY YEARS, ERIC HAS OBTAINED TEN APPLE COMPUTERS PLUS MANY ACCESSORIES.  OTHER GRANTS PLUS A BAND-RUN TALENT SHOW THAT RAISES FUNDS HAS HELPED THE DEPARTMENT OBTAIN AMPS, SOUND EQUIPMENT, GUITARS, BASSES AND KEYBOARDS.

BUT IT WASN’T UNTIL LAST WEDNESDAY, THAT ERIC COULD REALLY PUT INTO PLAY WHAT HE REALLY WANTED TO ACCOMPLISH:  A CLASSROOM THAT TRULY PREPARES LEARNERS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY.  

THIS PAST JUNE, ERIC FOUND OUT THAT ING, THE COMPANY THAT HEIDI HAD TOLD HIM ABOUT, WAS AWARDING HIM WITH ONE OF 100 NATIONWIDE GRANTS FOR $2,000.  BOTH WERE THRILLED.  THIS MEANT THE PURCHASE OF A NEW IMAC PLUS ACCESSORIES.  

THIS PAST WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, ERIC WAS NOT FEELING WELL AND CALLED IN SICK TO SCHOOL, BUT HEIDI KNEW THAT ERIC NEEDED TO ATTEND THE SCHOOL PEP FEST THAT DAY.  ERIC THOUGHT IT WAS BECAUSE THE STAFF ROCK BAND WAS PLAYING AND WITH ERIC PLAYING DRUMS, THERE WITH BE NO BAND WITHOUT HIM.  

SO ERIC TOUGHED IT OUT AND MADE IT TO SCHOOL TO PLAY, BUT THEN FOUND OUT THAT IT WASN’T THE BAND THAT PRINCIPAL SHERYL HOUGH WANTED HIM THERE FOR.  ING WAS THERE TO PRESENT ERIC WITH HIS AWARD CHECK.  BUT THAT CHECK WASN’T JUST $2,000.  ERIC WAS CHOSEN AS THE SECOND PLACE RECIPIENT AMONGST 1300 ENTRIES AND INSTEAD RECEIVED A CHECK FOR $12,000.  ERIC WAS IN SHOCK.  DESPITE FELLING ILL, ERIC WAS ALL SMILES AS THE STUDENT BODY ROARED IN EXCITEMENT.  

SO WHAT WILL THE $12,000 GO TOWARD?  9 IPADS, AN IMAC, A MIDI CONTROLLER, COMPUTER MONITORS, A YAMAHA MIXER, A DW FULL FIVE-PIECE DRUM SET WITH CYMBALS, A MARTIN ACOUSTIC ELECTRIC GUITAR, A GUITAR PEDAL SET, A MACKE STAGE MONITOR, LOGIC PRO SOFTWARE, A UKELELE, AND DJ TURNTABLES.  ALL OF THIS WILL BE USED TO TRANSFORM ERIC’S MIDDLE SCHOOL CURRICULUM INTO A 21ST CENTURY CLASSROOM.  WHETHER THE STUDENT IS IN CONCERT BAND, JAZZ BAND, GARAGE BAND, HIP HOP/ELECTRONICA, COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS BAND OR ANY NUMBER OF THE OTHER GROUPS ERIC AND HEIDI OFFER, THEY WILL REAP THE BENEFITS OF THIS INCREDIBLE AWARD.
ERIC WAS PRESENTED WITH A CHECK FOR $12,000 TO BE USED FOR INSTRUMENTS, TECHNOLOGY AND SUPPLIES AS PART OF “THE NEXT GENERATION OF MUSIC EDUCATION” PROJECT
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