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PSUSD teachers surprise students with creative rendition of ‘The Heart of Rock & Roll,’ giving behind-the-scenes look at distance learning

A group of music teachers at Palms Springs Unified School District surprised their students with a special music video on Wednesday -- giving their students a behind-the-scenes look at what really goes into distance learning from their perspective. 

“The students were not aware that we were making this project. They had turned in songs and dancing from other various projects,” said Dana Zahler, Elementary Music Teacher, Cahuilla and Della Lindley, PSUSD.  

The video features the teachers singing their own rendition of the song “The Heart of Rock & Roll” by Huey Lewis and the News; they appropriated renamed the song “The Heart of Music” for the project. The video incorporated bits and pieces of projects students had submitted virtually all year long. 

“One of the ideas was...we can do this too. We can sing and dance too just like we’re asking our students to,” added Zahler. 

The pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges for every department. Music teachers say for them, it was all about adapting and encouraging students to make do with whatever they had at home. “We’ll find two pencils...they’ll become the drumsticks. Get a little empty toilet paper roll...that’s your trumpet!” explained Zahler. 

At PSUSD, every elementary student gets a music lesson once a week. Teachers say the weekly class often provides a fun, creative outlet for kids during these times.

“We teach every student 45 minutes a week,” said Tammy Hubler, Elementary Music Teacher, Cabot Yerxa, PSUSD. Hubler added that the challenges they have faced together have only made them stronger. 

“Now that we’ve got it down, all this stuff that we’ve learned...when we come back to the classroom we’re going to be much better teachers,” said Alan Perrego, Elementary Music Teacher, Agua Caliente, PSUSD. 

“Music is really all about community. You can build community as long as you can see people and as long as people are coming together,” said Zahler.

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Madison Weil

Madison Weil joined the KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 News Team in June 2018. Learn more about Madison here.

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