One Team, One Sound: A music educator's mantra

ByDr. Rod Berger (guest column)
Keith Hart, music teacher at KIPP Believe

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Since growing up as a boy in New Orleans, Keith Hart has known what he was destined to do – become a music educator. The music community knew it as well, encouraging him to carry the mantle of music that is so important to the lives and culture of the Crescent City.

He cemented his legacy over 11 years ago when he founded the music program at KIPP Believe College Prep Middle School. When he started the program, he convinced the principal that all students in the school should be in the band. They came up with the rallying cry “One Team, One Sound” to let the students know that they were a part of something bigger than themselves.

Since then, Keith has used music to teach kids all kinds of values and skills, including conflict resolution, team building, and anger management. This year he was a top ten finalist for the GRAMMY Music Educator of the Year award. His story is a story of passion.

About Keith Hart, Sr.:

Keith Hart, Sr. is the Music Director for KIPP Believe College Prep Middle School in New Orleans. A New Orleans native, Keith founded the music program at KIPP Believe 11 years ago, where he enrolled all of the students enrolled at the school into the band.

Keith has been awarded the Kipp National Excellence in Teaching Award; Band Director of the Year District VI of the Louisiana Music Educators Association for three years; and his program has been named an Exemplary Music Program from Festival Disney.