NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Students in New Jersey are getting their hands on a special gift to enhance their virtual music education.

Adding to their excitement, the students had no idea it was happening, CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis reported Friday.

Nine-year-old Ryshon Hill thought he was visiting First Avenue School in Newark with his mom to discuss digital learning.

“We’re doing virtual learning. I don’t really like it,” Ryshon said. “I like being in school.”

Ryshon added he loves music class and playing the piano.

He told DeAngelis, “I would try to become the best piano player in the world,” if he could play at home.

Ryshon now has a chance to do that. Little did he know, he was actually at school to get a brand new keyboard.

It was made possible with a donation from The Lang Lang International Music Foundation, which believes all children should have access to music education regardless of their background.

The foundation donated 30 keyboards to the school in 2018 through the Keys of Inspiration program.

“They provide the keyboards in the schools. It’s a whole piano lab and they also provide a piano curriculum,” said music teacher Jenna Kostovski.

Now, 10 more keyboards have been donated.

Schools: The New Normal

According to Kostovski, her students are allowed to bring them home.

“We put a little red bow on them and then also a little tag that says ‘2020. The year I got my piano,'” Kostovski said.

The rain stopped them from delivering to homes, so the keyboards were given out at the school instead.

“It’s amazing!” said student Audrey Pinheiro. “My dream has come true and I can finally play piano.”

The students were among ten 4th graders who were gifted keyboards Friday.

Kostovski said, “I want my kids to understand that, even though things are a little tough right now, there still are good moments and bright lights.”


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