Fifth grade chorus viewed by millions on YouTube
A group of fifth graders at Public School 22 in New York have been singing their way to fame this past school year and gaining attention from celebrities like Ashton Kutcher, Stevie Nicks and Tori Amos.
From kindergarten through adulthood, new technologies are opening doors to anyone who can read and press a button.
The music teacher at P.S. 22, Gregg Breinberg, taught the kids to sing songs by Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Bjork and other rock and pop musicians. After the students learned to sing Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”, Mr. Breinberg had the kids’ performance videotaped and posted it on YouTube. He then began to do the same with additional songs and videos of his chorus students.
When gossip blogger Perez Hilton discovered one of the YouTube videos featuring a Tori Amos song, he posted a link to the video on his website. The video became one of the top 10 YouTube videos. The students have also been featured on television, in major newspapers and even invited to perform with musicians like Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac at Madison Square Garden.
Many of the 70 kids in the chorus come from low-income families. Some are struggling academically and some are learning English as a second language. However, being part of the chorus provides a positive community atmosphere that allows them to feel good about themselves and helps them forget about their worries if they are having a bad day.
The chorus just ended for these fifth graders who are moving on to middle school next year, so Mr. Breinbert will be starting over with a new group of students in the fall.
We wish these talented young singers the best of luck!