Norton Elementary students learning about music & life through rapping

Norton Elementary students learning about music & life through rapping

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - One, two, three, four!

The sound coming from Mr. Jamie Albritton’s music class can be heard from outside his door.

He has his third, fourth and fifth-grade classes at Norton Elementary School finding new ways to learn about music and life.

Albritton has been teaching at Norton for almost three years, but this summer at a teacher workshop, a new idea came to him.

“I can teach them all sorts of types of music, genres of music, but they’re going to get excited honoring their culture with the music they’re listening to," he said. "So what better way than diving in with rap and taking off from there.”

Now, his students are in the limelight, because they rhyme tight.

Kids like fifth-grader Akhila Nalladima are facing their public speaking fears head-on through rap.

“At first I was very nervous because I’m not very good at presenting in front of people,” Nalladima said.

After three months of practice, this once shy singer is now anything but.

“Nothing bad’s going to happen because you have all your friends to support you,” she said.

Her new-found confidence is in part because of friends like Katrina Graham. She’s always been outgoing but says her rap lyrics are teaching her more than any traditional lesson plan ever could.

"[You have to] put yourself out there to be creative no matter what, and just express yourself in any way possible,” Graham said.

Expression of self is what Albritton has been going for from the start of the school year. He wants his students to know that a couple of steps out of their comfort zones can give them the confidence they may have not otherwise had.

“Yes, I’m teaching music," Albritton said. "But, I always look at it like I’m teaching a bigger lesson. I want them to be able to take an idea and develop it and recreate something and then share it with others. Because if we want kids to be successful in life, then that’s a big part of it.”

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