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Central Coast Cheer

Hollister band students play music for neighbors during shelter in place

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Hollister band students play music for neighbors sheltering in place

HOLLISTER, Calif. (KION)

An act of kindness by a group of Hollister band students is now being shared all over the internet.

Band students from elementary, middle and high schools throughout Hollister just so happened to be neighbors and have been going outside to play music for their neighbors while they shelter in place.

It all started after they saw a video of a boy playing an instrument for neighbors, according to their parents, which inspired them to do the same.

The kids say they not only used that opportunity to practice their material, but also to spread a little cheer to their neighbors.

"A few really sad people, like happy kind of sad, you know. They really appreciate this kind of thing, I can tell. We'll all fight together. We're all here together," says Brandon Gatson, band student.

Now, one of their teachers is encouraging other band students to do the same.

Daniel Zeff is a band teacher for Rancho San Justo and Marguerite Maze Middle schools and says practicing their music is an important part of the students' distance learning experience.

"It's something to do for themselves, to play music as a group even though we aren't able to anymore. Being able to go out and practice and work on some of the listening skills that they have and things like that, that you can't really do. Now, it's been a really nice addition to it," says Zeff.

He is also spreading the word to parents and other teachers about a web program called SmartMusic, that helps students keep up with music lessons from home.

SmartMusic allows students to record and submit their music to receive feedback from instructors.

"It's about as close as you can get to doing it in person," says Zeff.

Both Zeff and the students say they hope to be back together in their classroom soon.

Zeff says the students will play every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening at 6:30 P.M.

Parents say videos will be shared on the Hollister and San Benito social media pages.

SmartMusic program offering free access to teachers through January 30.

To find out more visit www.smartmusic.com

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Jocelyn Ortega

Jocelyn Ortega is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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