AURORA – Before he ever beat on a drum, Eighth Grader Trevor Johns used to beat on other people — no joke.

“Before I came into middle school, I wasn’t as well as I am now,” Johns said. “I was a bad kid.”

Then, he met Instrumental Music Teacher Nina Scheideman at Columbia Middle School in Aurora. In her classroom, music is more than a lesson, it’s a way for her students to grow up.

“Sometimes, that’s the reason some kids come to school,” Scheideman said.

Trevor says music has helped him to become a calmer student.

“It makes you relax,” Trevor said. “If I continued on the path I was continuing on me personally, (I) think I would end up somewhere I wouldn’t want to be — like jail.”

Now, Scheideman says he is a talented percussionist and one of her best students.

“Trevor has made huge strides since sixth grade. He was a completely different kid three years ago,” Scheideman said.

Isabelle Walker was completely different, too. 

“My mom told me that I was gonna plan an instrument whether I liked it or not,” Isabelle said.

She is a high school freshman now. But, Isabelle says playing the trumpet in band changed her life in her three years at Columbia Middle School.

“So, it definitely built my confidence a lot,” Isabelle said.

But, Isabella and Trevor likely wouldn’t be here if people did not donate their used musical instruments.

“If it weren’t for Bringing Music to Life, half of those kids would not be in that class,” Scheideman…