Teacher uses music to stress the 'power in words'

By Donna McCollum - bio | email

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - It has been a challenging week for some East Texas middle school students. They're learning that writing songs can be difficult, but fun and educational.

"Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Monte Selby," announces a school principal as he introduces a Colorado educator sharing his passion for music and the written word. The combination works.

"Change is fear. Change is hope. Change is here," sings Selby. The author-songwriter is singing songs written during a week of brainstorming by 7th and 8th graders. The children are hearing their often insightful lyrics set to Selbe's score for the very first time.

The former middle school principal has the kids pegged, as he wrote in his own song. From a pre teens perspective he sings, "I've got the 8th grade overtime, misaligned, hormone blues."

Selby uses those misaligned hormones to his advantage. He has the kids write a love song.

"We're at the age where you start experiencing liking people and dating...so...I guess it's just natural," a couple of songwriters said.

Bottom line, Selby wants his audience to know, "There is a lot of power in words. Power of those words, as I tell them sometimes determines who the president is going to be."

Right now, the young artists may be developing aspirations to join Selby on the road. At least it certainly appears that way as young girls clap and dance in rhythm in teen pop style as Selby looks their way.

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