This is part of WTOP’s continuing coverage of people making a difference from our community authored by Stephanie Gaines-Bryant. Read more of that coverage.
A music teacher is trying to heal broken lives through a project he started at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in Maryland.
Brandon Felder is a music teacher at Shabach Christian Academy in Landover, Maryland. He calls the project “Mosaic Intersections of Sound.”
He says, “most people think of a mosaic as a piece of art that’s visual, but I recognize that mosaic can also represent our lives, that our lives are broken.”
The Howard University graduate and current gospel choir director at Georgetown University refers to himself as a teaching artist.
“But we realize that those broken pieces together can still create a beautiful masterpiece,” Felder says.
Watch the performance of Mosaic Intersection of Sound that was livestreamed on YouTube March 28.
Mosaic Intersection of Sound is a series of 35 songs he arranged, composed, and curated and will be released in various volumes. Now, after teaching for close to 20 years he says he teaches his students the three c’s.
“Your learning how to connect, your learning how to collaborate, you’re learning creativity,” Felder says. “We had to learn to utilize Zoom, and Duo and Google Meets and we had to realize that technology is great when it works, and when it doesn’t we have to improvise.”
After finding extra ways of being creative during COVID, they created virtual talent shows, Christmas shows and Easter productions.
He says, the biggest challenge when the students returned to the classroom was relearning social skills.
Felder and his wife have made music a family affair. He says his students include his two daughters Cadence 11, and 8-year-old Olivia, who also sing in the project. The couple also has a young son.