Roberto Clemente Music Program is the Focus of Documentary Film
“I wanted to create something that could reach that kid that didn’t have something,” says Roberto Clemente Middle School music teacher Randi Levy in the opening line of the trailer for the documentary film which focuses on the Clemente Music Rocks! music program.
The film, “Best Day of My Life: The Rock in Schools Story” was produced House Digital Cinema and Clemente Music Rocks in association with $5 Music Video NS Chuck Levins Washington Music Center. It is a documentary film produced by the video arm of House Studio DC, a well-respected professional recording studio in Washington, D.C. about the Rock Band music program at Clemente.
The filmmakers released the trailer for the film on Wednesday via YouTube and are hoping to garner 250,000 views prior to the premier of the full film, which is still in post-production.
“The story tells itself,” said Levy. “It is a very organic. The kids are the stars. They tell their story through interviews, and interactions at events, rehearsals, and in schools.”
The film evolved from what, Levy says was supposed to be a two minute promotional video about the Rock in Schools program that she pioneered at Roberto Clemente MS eight years ago. “It started with the hopes of making a two minute promotional YouTube video,” she said.
Levy has been working with Montgomery County Public Schools to try to expand the Rock Band program to other middle schools but the cost of the instruments makes it prohibitive.
The idea of teaching rock n’ roll in schools continues to go against the grain of how music has been taught in schools, but over the last eight years Levy has seen her program greatly influence the lives of her music students.
“Fourty years ago Jazz wasn’t taught in schools because it wasn’t considered in an important art form. People would never say that now,” said Levy.”Jazz is taught in school all the time, rock and roll is not. One of the reasons it is not is music teachers are not trained to teach it. We do