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Music teacher finds parody videos the way to students’ hearts

Amid the Zoom gloom of distance learning, Wendy Yates has struck a bright new chord with students at Lexington Traditional Magnet School. “Our amazing orchestra and choir teacher has been creating these inspirational and hysterical videos for her students and their parents. She is a true inspiration, and her students love her,” said colleague Jaime Giger, the visual arts teacher and Related Arts team leader at LTMS. 

Last spring after COVID-19 closed school buildings, Yates noticed the kids weren’t exactly excited about online lessons. “It’s hard to explain the assignments. Mostly we learn rhythm and beat,” said seventh grader TatiAnna Tillett. Yates offered up instructional videos and one of herself performing on viola. Then – describing herself as a closet folk singer – she presented her parody of Dolly Parton’s “Coat of Many Colors.” When TatiAnna memorized it and sang it back to her, Yates knew she was onto something ...

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