NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Music conveys emotions and feelings that words can’t and for children, it is a way for them to connect to others.

A local group, Soundscapes, provides music education and performance opportunities for children on the Peninsula. 

The group started in 2009 with 40 kids playing on buckets and now has a full orchestra, feeders with the Peninsula Youth Orchestra, and daily programs at Carver and Greenwood Elementary.

Over the past 14 years, 1,000 students have participated in the program. 

Learning to play a new instrument has a lasting impression on students.  “It builds goal setting, time management, teamwork, ” said Reynaldo Ramirez, Soundscapes Cofounder. 

Soundscape was also one of many organizations that received a gun violence prevention grant this summer from Newport News Police Department. 

Carter Elementary School Teacher, Catina Horton-Billups, says she can see the difference in students who participate in the group. “When we see kids tapping and drum, we want to channel that,” said Horton-Billups.

Middle schoolers like Caleb Trotter and Saniya Hundley are fifth year Soundscapes members and say they love to perform.

“I can be nervous, when we first begin to play,” said Trotter. ” I basically don’t even know anyone is right there.” 

“It’s fun, because they applaud you and compliment you,” said Sweeney. 

From local concerts to the stage of life, Soundscapes continues to help students tap to a positive beat.