Hit TV show ‘Glee’ inspires Oahu summer school students

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The TV show “Glee” is inspiring a generation of students to embrace their differences and be themselves.

Now, an Oahu school has launched a summer school course based on the hit show.

“I really like it. It’s one of my funnest classes,” 11-year-old Kimie Kamezaw said.

It’s rare to hear a student say something like that when it comes to school, but this isn’t an ordinary class.

St. Andrew’s Priory has broken the mold from a typical choir, orchestra, and band class by starting up a Glee summer school program.

“In Glee, you get to express your voice without anybody laughing at you,” Kamezaw said.

For some who say they struggle with shyness and social anxiety, the class has inspired them to break out of their shell.

“Like when I go out and meet new people, I don’t really talk,” 12-year-old Skylin Tokashiki said. “It means a lot because I really like singing and I have always wanted to sing.”

“I said ‘Does anyone want to take a solo? Does anyone want to be front and center?’ One person volunteered and on the second day they were practically knocking each other down for solos and arguing over them,” teacher Dana Arbaugh said.

The students are going gaga for Glee and it’s thanks to a St. Andrew’s Priory graduate that the program’s become successful.

“I think this is a really safe space that we have created here.None of us are professional singers, none of us will be on Glee. Well, maybe they will be one day, but certainly not me,” Arbaugh said.

Arbaugh is a 2008 priory graduate who studied at the Ithaca College of Music and teaches singing, wind, and percussion instruments.

“And I think the girls and boy feed off of each other’s energy and when they see someone doing a solo, they then want to try it and they feed off of each other’s confidence,” Arbaugh said.

“I think it motivates people to believe in themselves,” 11-year-old Moku Dancil-Evans said.

The middle and elementary summer school Glee program will hold a recital on Friday, July 19 on campus at 4:30 p.m.

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