Harvey E.A. Lockhart, the Riverview Gardens Senior High School band director and performing arts coordinator of secondary education, said that students learn more than music when they study music.
“Music helps our students to be able to handle a lot of the situations that they're going through,” Lockhart said. “We teach them how to be structured, we teach them how to pay attention and how to work hard.”
That lesson is being learned by his students.
“Not only does Mr. Lockhart think about what benefits the music program, he also thinks about what will benefit us as students and as individuals,” said Ngone Seck, a junior.
Under Lockhart’s guidance, Seck has learned to play the flute, clarinet, baritone saxophone – and the changes of a young person’s life.
“He considers what goes on in our lives and the things that we’re all going through,” Seck said.
Lockhart is not only considered a teacher to his students, but a mentor and a role model as well. Students regard Lockhart as family.
“Mr. Lockhart pushes me to the limit,” said Todd Merriweather, a freshman. “He treats us like a family. I don’t feel uncomfortable going to Mr. Lockhart for help or even if I just don’t know what to do about a situation in my life.”
In recognition of his efforts, the Arts and Education Council of St. Louis will award him as 2017 Arts Educator of the Year at the Chase Park Plaza on January 23.
A saxophonist and composer, Lockhart said students should work with and learn directly from musicians. As a musician, he has worked with Jazz St. Louis, the Sheldon Arts Foundation and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, to name a few.
Lockhart said that while some students are placed in music courses as a requirement, the majority of his students continue with the program after seeing how rewarding mastering an instrument is.
“Our program is very active,” Lockhart said. “We offer a variety of courses, both during the school day as well as in after-school programs that give the youth numerous opportunities to become immersed.”
Lockhart himself offers proof that music can lead to earning a good livelihood.
“Our students recognize that music can take them all over the world,” he said. “It's bigger than just St. Louis and the neighborhood they grew up in.”
Lockhart, who has taught at Riverview Gardens High School for seven years and been teaching since 2000, has earned the admiration of his building principal at Riverview Gardens High School.
“Mr. Lockhart takes the initiative in ensuring that our scholars both excel in the classroom academically and in their personal lives outside of school,” Riverview Gardens High School Principal Darius Kirk said. “I believe that Mr. Lockhart goes above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to his relationship with every one of his students.”
Kirk, much like Lockhart, values the importance of using music as an agent to push students past their boundaries, both in and out of the classroom.
“One of our main goals is to create an environment for our scholars to have numerous creative outlets,” Kirk said. “Mr. Lockhart is a key piece to our success here, and his work ethic is evident. He is not just worried about his scholars and their musical aptitude, but he is also worried about them as a person.”
For more information about the 2017 St. Louis Arts Awards and the tickets for January 23 ceremony, visit http://bit.ly/2cGm6Yj.