These are parent testimonials from the 2019/2020 school year. Our thanks to all these parents for taking the time to put it in print so that those considering our program can have the benefit of their observations and opinions!
I love listening to my kids hanging around the house singing together all the songs they learned at We Montana!. It brings me so much joy to see all the confidence their experiences have given them! Thank you, We, Montana!
~Jen Knox, 2020
When we decided to start homeschooling our daughter for the first time this past year, one of the major concerns we had was “how will she still have access to the arts?” Singing and music have been an important part of her schooling and life since she was a child and we were not sure how to keep that excitement for it alive, as well as to help her continue to grow. When we discovered We, Montana! and all it had to offer her, we were so excited. We, Montana! has been a highlight to our week. She has loved being part of a band, chorus and public speaking class as well as being surrounded by other kids who have similar interests and drive. Jack Pelham has an amazing talent in music and does a great job teaching kids to believe in themselves and to strive for more. We are so thankful for everything We, Montana! has offered her and we cannot wait to see how she continues to grow over the next few years.
We, Montana! is a crafter of gifts. A place where stones become gems. Where “I” becomes “Us”, and “Us” becomes “We”.
For the past 2 years we have been blessed and delighted to see the confidence, eloquence, and excellence that our children (and many other students) have gained from Jack’s superb and focused instruction at We, Montana! There is a camaraderie and energy there that is unique and profound, especially in America today. We are thrilled to be a part of We, Montana! and the impact it’s formed in our family’s lives and others in this community.
If you want to smile, laugh, learn, perform, excel, succeed.. if you want to be challenged, be befriended, be involved, be committed, be a blessing.. then we encourage you to make We, Montana! a part of your family!
~Nick & Natalie Chaney, 2020
I loved my oldest son asking if it was Monday. He looked forward to Monday mornings and participating in General Music each week. His participation grew his confidence in singing and his love for music. As a result of his participation, he excelled in December at our local church Christmas concert. (See attached photo.)
The whole family highly recommends General Music and We, Montana!
~Nathan, Shari, Joash, & James, 2020
We, Montana! has given my daughter something to look forward to every Monday during the school year. She looks forward to choir every week. Mr. Pelham spends time wisely in each rehearsal and expects excellence. That’s what makes it “the best choir I’ve been in”, in the words of my daughter.
~Jeri Ford, 2020
My family has been with We, Montana! for a little over two years now, and learning music under the Pelhams for almost four years. The quality of conversation and lessons is highly important to our family, and we couldn’t be more pleased in finding that from the programs being offered. Our oldest son (who is 14), enjoys being with the other kids and learning from Mr. Pelham. He thrives in the smaller class sizes, quality of conversations and being with kids that are just as engaged in the topics as he is. He is excited to learn of different classes being offered each year, from choir to public speaking or going in extra hours to help paint and work in their classroom. Mr. Pelham teaches with heart and thought, leading by example, so the students want to learn and listen. There is nothing more we would like to see than for We, Montana to excel in whatever goals they want to achieve, as they are helping grow students into amazing adults.
~The Schneider Family, 2020
My daughter has enjoyed the offerings of We, Montana! for several years now! She has been in the choir, Skits class, Public Speaking, Reality Based Thinking, and Etiquette. She has enjoyed many laughs with the friends she has made there, and she comes home intellectually exhausted! Lots of thinking going on inside the “Great Room”! I highly recommend trying out a class or two! They have something for young ones and high schoolers alike!
They even have options for parents! I am a member of the chorus, as well. I truly enjoy being part of making a beautiful sound again….something I haven’t done since my own high school days in a cappella!
~Bethany Elkin, 2020
We, Montana! exceeded my expectations. Jack provides high quality education and strives for excellence. He makes it a fun, warm, and welcome environment where kids can be themselves, allowed to make big and loud mistakes, and are encouraged to learn and grow, not only as musicians but as people. My daughter was timid when she enrolled in band and choir. Jack gave her time and didn’t pressure her out of her shell but also gently encouraged her. Half way through the year, she accepted that she was in a safe place, surrounded by friends, and started singing out and engaging in the classes. Our year was cut short but I saw great things happening. It was obvious from observing the students from the previous year that We, Montana! is a place for kids to be themselves, develop close friendships, and grow tremendously as musicians and people.
~Anne Allen, 2020
We have 3 kids enrolled in the general music program with We, Montana! We love homeschooling our children for all of the usual reasons and are blessed with the ability to teach pretty much any subject they want to take. The problem is that with only 3 kids, we can’t do large group projects and some things must be done in large groups. We value music appreciation and feel that the only way to truly appreciate it is to do it yourself. All 3 kids take piano lessons, and I can get them private voice lessons, but there is something really special and unique about working in a group, as one unit, to create something wonderful. We, Montana! gives us the opportunity to not only teach them to sing properly, without damaging their voices, but to also work in a group matching pitches and singing parts. When it’s all done they have the opportunity to perform in front of strangers. This is a skill that many adults lack and it hurts their careers. To teach kids to do this at an early age means that they lose that paralyzing fear that cripples many adults. You can see them come alive as they gain confidence from their successes. Since many homeschooling families are constantly asked, “How do you socialize your kids if they aren’t in public school?” We can now say that they gain a positive bond with the kids that they have worked with all year and they have different chances throughout the year to meet these new friends outside of class for fun activities like movie night or game night. All in all, We, Montana! has been a very positive experience for us and we look forward to another great year!
~Heather Hasiak, 2020
I highly recommend We, Montana! courses. Our family has benefited greatly from the courses offered. My children have taken Public Speaking, General Music and Chorus. I had the pleasure of singing in the chorus last year too. I very much enjoyed it, as did my children. Mr. Pelham’s commitment to excellence is laudable. The courses are enjoyable with humor mixed throughout.
~Kenda Rollins, 2020
I have been involved with We, Montana! classes, as both a student and a parent of a student. For myself, I have enjoyed singing with a chorus again, as well as playing clarinet for the first time in my life in Beginning Band. If any parent feels like they’ll stick out like a sore thumb, well, maybe you do, but the kids are very welcoming. You will learn and have as much fun as they do. My teen son has participated in chorus and band, as well as public speaking, reality-based thinking, etiquette, and skits. For all that he’s learning in these classes, perhaps the best part is seeing him enjoying the time with new and old friends in between classes, playing foosball or chatting at the lunch table. We, Montana! has been a blessing to us intellectually and emotionally.
~Kay Pelham, 2020
Our 4 children have been taking We, Montana! classes for a couple years now, and we’ve really appreciated all aspects of the program. Mr. Pelham runs a tight ship, where order and respect are key, while making the classes engaging and fun. The discussion and dialogue really enhance the learning, while teaching communication and conversation. Our children love the Skits class the most, but have enjoyed and learned in all the classes they have taken. From Reality Based Thinking and Public Speaking to Band and Choir, there is a broad range of fundamental classes, some of which are not offered anywhere else. This program is definitely a labor of love for Mr. Pelham, and it shows in the excitement and engagement of the students.
~Thor and Julie Loftsgaard , 2020