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Neblett Music Teacher’s Rhythm Basketball Routine Bounces to Viral Status on Facebook

Music teacher Priscilla Burns posted a video to Neblett Elementary's Facebook page to showcase a new music routine her students mastered within a couple of days. 

She did not expect millions of people to see it.

During December, Burns was teaching multiple fourth-grade classes about The Nutcracker Ballet by Tchaikovsky. As she made lesson plans, she came across a rhythm basketball routine for Trepak, the Russian dance routine from The Nutcracker. It was unique, more than what she'd ever done before in class. Burns ran with the idea knowing it was a creative way to engage her students to listen thoughtfully to a piece of music while combining physical activity.  

"My students worked on steady beat, rhythm, form, and were exposed to a beautiful piece of classical music they might not otherwise have chosen to listen to," expressed Burns. "I am very grateful to fellow educator Emily Church for creating and sharing such an exciting music activity. It was a great way for me to combine music education and the sport of basketball."

It only took one class period for students to make connections between the musical form and choreography. The students were actively engaged in every skill level and were able to find success with learning about classical music while dribbling basketballs to the rhythmic beat. The video also found success on social media.

"I shared the video of students completing the activity to our campus Facebook page to provide our families with a small glimpse into the learning and activities our students are doing at Neblett. I feel our families always appreciate photos and videos from our classrooms. Particularly this year, when our COVID-19 protocols prevented us from having visitors on campuses, videos of our fun activities on social media was a way for us to keep our parents connected to the inside of the classroom."

When Burns usually posts music videos, most of the engagement and views come from people who have students at Neblett. She was shocked to see the rhythm basketball routine video's numbers continue to climb every day, especially when it hit 20,000 views within the first week. When the video's views continued to increase daily, Burns told her 21-year-old daughter that her students' were going viral.  

"I discovered it takes a few million views to be considered viral, and surprisingly my students surpassed that mark. I believe the video currently has 8.5 million views!"

The video garnered over 10,000 comments internationally, from Columbia, Greece, Lebanon, Israel, India, Ukraine, and more. People worldwide sent positive remarks about the students and lauded Burns for merging athletics and classical music for a fun and unique educational lesson.

Due to the video's success, people have also learned more about Neblett through their Facebook page. Their Challenge program, technology classes, Art, P.E., and core academics are receiving attention thanks to the newfound publicity. 

"I have been teaching here at Neblett since it first opened thirteen years ago, and I am so proud of my school," Burns said. "I'm excited to know that this fun lesson has inspired others throughout the world and has showcased our Neblett students in a positive light. I am glad people have the opportunity to discover the great things going on for our students here at Neblett Elementary."

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