'I can do it. I can do it'

Warwick. Warwick Valley School District Superintendent’s Artist of the Week: Grace Stough.

| 09 Mar 2020 | 06:25

Park Avenue Elementary School student Grace Stough is continuing a family tradition by playing the flute as a talented and highly ambitious member of the fourth grade band.

Both her mother and her aunt play the flute and their dedication and work ethic has been handed down to Grace. In fact, the flute Grace plays is the same one her mom and aunt used when they were children.

“I liked the way my mom was playing the flute so I just started playing a little bit,” Grace said. “At first I couldn’t play it that well, but I finally got a sound out of it and I was like: ‘I can do it. I can do it.’ Then I just loved it, so I kept playing the flute. But my dog does not like it. She tries to jump up. She thinks it’s a stick. So I just go into another room and play it.”

Grace loves the different sound that a flute can make and enjoys the challenge of learning all of the different buttons. She likes learning a new flute fingering and then connecting it to a new sound that she can produce. One of the first things she learned to play was the “Jaws” theme.

Now, after only a few short months of school lessons, she can play a full scale and beyond.

“Grace is energetic, inquisitive and has established a good practice routine at home that has allowed her to become a standout in the band program,” music teacher Ryan Muehlbauer said. “She is a student I can always count on to have a positive attitude in class and is willing to be brave and take changes when learning new material.

"Performing in front of others can sometimes be daunting to young musicians," Muehlbauer added, "but Grace is confident in her abilities and enjoys playing in front of her peers.”

Grace also helps other student musicians in her section, making the “D day Flute Lesson group” a great experience for all. The girls in this lesson enjoy working together and challenging each other to make great music.

In addition to playing the flute, Grace also performed Beatles songs on piano at the Park Avenue Talent Show and was on stage as “Kaa,” the snake in the Drama Club performance of “Jungle Book.”

She would eventually like to add the piccolo to her repertoire of instruments.