Kemauri Hampton

  • Program: Preservation Hall Lessons Program with the Marrero Middle School Mustang Band
  • School: Marrero Middle School
  • Location: Marrero, Louisiana
  • Instrument: Trombone

Announcing our March Music Student of the Month: Kemauri Hampton! Kemauri is a 7th grader in Louisiana who was nominated by his teacher, Mr. Williams. Kemauri has been using the Preservation Hall Lessons program as part of his music education.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who nominated you? How long have you been playing your instrument?

I am in the seventh grade. I play the trombone in the school band. I like to practice my trombone a lot. I play music when in class of course, but when I go home I really like to play and listen to music a lot. I started playing music last year when I was in sixth grade. This is my second year playing the trombone.

What has music and/or your program taught you?

By being in the band I have learned so much. My focus on my task at hand has improved drastically. I have learned to communicate much better. I have learned to be on time, the value of hard work, the value of being prepared. Discipline and teamwork have been two of the major skills I have learned. You have to be able to work with others and adjust to create a song with the band. I have learned to communicate better with people from playing in the brass band. When you play in a brass band or any band really you have to be able to communicate clearly and easily (sometimes with words and sometimes in other ways) in order for everyone to be able to play as one.

Band has also taught me to have better control of my body with all of the breathing techniques we have learned in order to play an instrument.

The Preservation Hall online lessons have exposed and taught me so much about my own local music and culture. It is awesome to know that what we are doing and what we play in our band is the same thing that the musicians were doing and learning generations ago. It feels great to be a part of the musical traditions of the city of New Orleans. I love band and I love learning about music. It is even more interesting when it is something that is relevant to our local neighborhood.

What is your favorite piece of music to play?

My all-time favorite piece of music that we have played with the band is Do Whatcha Wanna. It is a local brass band song. The whole band loves it, the song is just so much fun to play. I also really like to make my own music by mixing up sounds to see what I think sounds nice. I sometimes write out some music. Sometimes I just listen to music a lot and then try to copy what I hear. I also like to record myself and play it back and add things to it. I can add a beat to what I have already played.

What do you like to do for fun? Do you have any hobbies?

For fun like most 21st Century kids, I like to play on my phone, playing games, watching videos, and listening to a lot of music. I like to listen to a lot of music. Mr. Williams has exposed me to so much music, so many different styles from all over the world. Mr. Williams has exposed me to a lot of local New Orleans music, which I love. I really love listening to a lot of music and watching concerts on the computer.

What are your favorite subjects in school? Why?

My favorite subject, well I actually have three. ELA (English and Literature) and Social Studies are two of my favorites because writing has become so much easier for me. My all-time favorite subject has been band. Band has become my favorite subject because it’s been so much fun playing the trombone. It has also been so much fun learning and having the opportunity to do something that no one else in my family has ever been able to have the chance to do. Mr. Williams personally purchases many of the instruments that we play on. He also writes a lot of the music we play. He really tries to get as many kids involved as possible, which is one of the reasons it is so much fun playing in the band with him.

Being a member of the Marrero Middle School Mustang Band with Mr. Williams has been a very proud accomplishment for me. I am very happy and I feel very fortunate to be able to have this opportunity to play in the band and make music with my friends and Mr. Williams.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans for the future are to save money so I can get a chance to go to college. I want to become a scientist. I want to build things; I love to build things. Possibly I could even build a new instrument one day. Mr. Williams reminds us all the time by us participating in band we are expanding our brains, he reminds us of all the benefits of music and playing in the band. He tells me all the time the life skills and all the unseen skills I am learning in band will all be useful when I get older and I am a scientist.