A local music teacher is trying to heal shattered lives with a project he started at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
This is part of WTOP’s ongoing coverage of people making a difference in our community written by Stephanie Gaines-Bryant. Learn more about this coverage.
A music teacher is trying to heal shattered lives with a project he started at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in Maryland.
Brandon Felder is a music teacher at Shabach Christian Academy in Landover, Maryland. He calls the project “Mosaic Intersections of Sound”.
He says: “Most people think of a mosaic as a visual work of art, but I recognize that the mosaic can also represent our lives, that our lives are broken.
A graduate of Howard University and current director of the gospel choir at Georgetown University, he describes himself as a teaching artist.
“But we realize that these pieces broken together can still create a beautiful masterpiece,” says Felder.
Watch the Mosaic Intersection of Sound performance which was streamed live on YouTube on March 28.
Mosaic Intersection of Sound is a series of 35 songs which he arranged, composed and organized and which will be published in several volumes. Now, after teaching for nearly 20 years, he says he teaches his students the three cs.
“You learn to connect, you learn to collaborate, you learn creativity,” says Felder. “We had to learn how to use Zoom, Duo and Google Meets and we had to realize that technology is great when it works, and when it doesn’t we have to improvise.”
After finding additional ways to be creative during COVID, they created virtual talent shows, Christmas shows, and Easter productions.
He says the biggest challenge when students returned to class was relearning social skills.
Felder and his wife made music a family affair. He says his students include his two daughters Cadence, 11, and Oliia, 8, who also sing in the project. The couple also have a young son.