Have you seen the latest music video from our Chicago students? Their awesome cover of Christina Aguilera’s song “Beautiful,” dropped on July 20 and has touched the hearts of so many viewers. In fact, the students at Evergreen Academy Middle School chose the song “not just for the music, but for the message.” The students say that the decision was easy “because the song has a message that other people need to hear, especially now.” They want the audience to know “that they’re beautiful – whoever and wherever they are.”

Once the song was chosen, it was time to record! The Evergreen Academy students fearlessly accepted the challenge of recording in only one day – a daunting task requiring top-notch musicianship and professionalism. Our partners from 35th Street Studios and Tall Tale Productions documented the process. Reflecting on the experience, our Chicago students want their audience to know that “recording is a long process. It requires a lot of patience, focus, and nonverbal communication. You end up waiting around and being quiet for most of the day, so you really have to trust in yourself and in your bandmates. Drummers have it especially tough because they have to play to a click track, which makes the song sound perfectly on beat.”

The result of one long day’s work is a beautiful music video featuring 22 students ranging from 6th to 8th grade. For the video, mentor Phil Jacobson had students create individual posters to describe what beauty looks, sounds, and feels like to them. Responses ranged from “Peace is Beautiful,” to “Hoodies are Beautiful,” to “Tacos son Bonitos.” Our students hope that through these posters, their audience can also see the beauty in themselves.