Student reflections on IPS Education Foundation is music to our ears

Every IPS student deserves a chance to reach for the stars. That’s why we work so hard to connect classrooms with resources that enhance learning and enrich the lives of students—both during and after the school day.

At Harshman Magnet Middle School, located in Indianapolis’ near eastside, our grants have helped music teacher Kyle Bieda purchase instruments for every member of the band, smart music technology to aid student practice, speakers and much more.

We sat down with school band’s leadership team to talk about what music class means to them, and how the addition of new tools and technology has made their classroom experience even better:

Brandon Pruitt

I’m more responsible than I was a few years ago when we didn’t have our own instruments or equipment. Now, I bring my clarinet to school every Monday, and I take it home with me every Friday. I practice everyday, and I’m proud that Mr. Bieda gives us motivation and the tools we need to be successful.
–Brandon Pruitt, 8th grade


Marcus TinnerI got interested in the saxophone by listening to Kenny G with my grandpa. Now, I practice playing my instrument three or four hours everyday.
–Marcus Tinner, 7th grade



Julian AcostaWe’re not just a band. We’re a big family. We have fun, and we always respect each other. If someone messes up, we laugh together and then we boost each other back up and try again. That’s our philosophy, and it’s helped us grow the band from 60 kids to more than 150.
–Julian Acosta, 8th grade


Carlos CastroMusic is a way we can all connect. We may all look and dress different, but we have one thing in common, and that’s music. We’re a big family. Mr. Bieda is our father. Music is our mother. And we’re all siblings, here to learn from each other. Being in band taught me that we’re worth it; we deserve it.
– Carlos Castro, 8th grade


Summing up our talk, Julian says “We need the tools and a great teacher to do what we’re doing. Mr. Bieda gives us a reason to play, get better and climb the ladder to success.”