VISALIA, Calif. (KSEE) – A local music teacher is combining the craft of music with lessons to bring harmony inside the classroom.  

For this band teacher at Houston Elementary School in Visalia, it’s all about the sound of music to bring his students together. Thomas Sholl has been teaching music class for twelve years now which keeps him pretty busy. 

“It’s finding time and place for these kids to practice and they’re able to get that here at Houston. We practice four days a week two days during school and then twice a week after school,” says Mr. Sholl.

But it’s more than just the chimes to numerous instruments, it’s the skills that reach outside the classroom he strives for.

“This is the kind of like skills that’s gonna carry them through college through work and all of that,” says Mr. Sholl.

Principal Adrian Laall has worked alongside Mr. Sholl for eight years now. He says he’s happy to see the music curriculum grow to what it is now.  

“He was recruiting other teachers from other schools to come after school and help our kids at one point we had four band teachers after school supporting our students,” says Laall.

After middle school, many students make their way to Redwood High School but remember to take the skills they made in music class with them.

“All the kids who are involved with music have better school attendance, have better behavior in school, and we all know research shows kids that play a musical instrument have a higher percentage of attending college,” says Laall.

After building up the band program and watching it flourish all these years, Mr. Sholl’s favorite part is seeing students pick up an instrument and play to their own tune.  

“This is a lifelong hobby that we’re teaching the kids. A lifelong skill learning an instrument from scratch is very difficult to do but they’re practicing every day like we are here, the students just improve so quickly,” says Mr. Sholl.