Jeremy Carver had an extra reason to be excited when he woke up to go to school Wednesday. Along with his other classmates, Carver knew he would entertain family, friends and staff at Indian Trail Middle School during the annual fall show, but he had no idea just how good it would make him feel.
After belting out the tunes of Chubby Checker, Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, The Village People and The Beatles to the audience that squeezed into Indian Trail sixth- and seventh-grade teacher Lon Broyles’ classroom, Carver and his fellow classmate Dalton Veatch had a few things to say.
“I hope y’all enjoyed it and thanks for coming,” Carver said to his captive audience.
Veatch followed that thank you with his own. “Thank you all for coming. You can come back anytime,” he said.
The two pint-sized emcees preferred The Beatles’ “Hello, Goodbye” over songs like “9 to 5” or “Heartbreak Hotel,” but both students were equally excited to share in an opportunity to perform in front of a big crowd.
“I was so happy this morning. I didn’t know what was going to happen today,” Carver said after the performance.
“It made me feel happy, because it was pretty good,” he said.
The fall show has become a tradition with Broyles’ special education class over the last several years. As their teacher, Broyles gets a lot of gratification from watching his class practice for weeks before finally stepping up in front of a crowded room to sing and dance.
“I can’t imagine doing anything better with my life. A lot of times I look around and I say, ‘I can’t believe they pay me for this.’ It’s a wonderful opportunity to get to work with these kids,” he said.
Nancy Nornhold, a music therapist with special programs across the city, has spent the last month working with the students as they learned the routines to songs like “YMCA” and “The Twist.” While the program is certainly meant to be a fun time for everyone involved, Nornhold said it’s something that can help each student with their daily routine.
“Our therapeutic goal for the year is to learn impulse control, so they’re learning to stand quietly, make eye contact, follow directions, follow specific moves ... and that helps generalize that skill into the classroom and hopefully at home,” she said.