Strumming Together Success: Teacher Brings Ukelele Club to West Fargo School

Drue Haarsager won a $2,000 grant to start up the club

WEST FARGO, N.D. — After coming across a research paper his son at Concordia College wrote, Drue Haarsager decided to teach music to his students at Community High School.

“Playing an instrument, it activates just about every part of your brain and activates just about every neuro system that you have, and if you have better neuro connections, then might lead into more academic success,” Haarsager, a social studies teacher at Community High School, said.

Haarsager won a $2,000 grant from the National Education Association Foundation, which along with donations from Schmitt Music, allowed him to purchase ukuleles for his students.

He chose the four–stringed instrument since he says it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to learn.

“It’s a fun instrument, you know, who could be sad while they play a ukulele? That sound is just fantastic,” said Haarsager.

Students come into Haarsager’s classroom twice a week during their lunch break to learn some chords and play some songs.

“It’s just a blast when you hit the final chord, the resolve, and everything comes together, the notes, the chords all match, and then they stop and look like ‘yeah, that was cool’. It’s the fastest half hour at Community High,” Haarsager said.

Students say they love taking part in the ukulele club because Mr. Haarsager makes it easy for them to learn how to play.

By bringing music into the classroom, Haarsager says having the club is important to increase student success and give them opportunities to thrive in school.

Haarsager says he wants to develop a full–fledged music program at Community, and create an ensemble that performs at nursing homes down the road.

Categories: Community, Local News, North Dakota News