Grammy Nominee Sounds Off Against Bullying
MIDDLEBOURNE – Smooth jazz musician and Grammy nominee David Wells paid a visit recently to Tyler Consolidated Middle School to talk about bullying.
Wells has been playing the trumpet since the age of 9, and has released a total of 14 albums within the span of his musical career. He is endorsed by Conn/Selmer (largest band manufacturing company) as a national performer and has shared the stage with top artist’s in the “smooth jazz” genre.
Traveling to high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools across the country, Wells has one main goal, which is to inspire teenagers and children to be kind to one another, to always stick up for what you believe in, and to never be afraid to speak out. He hopes of putting an end to the bullying epidemic sweeping the country.
“I don’t know what it is, but I have to say that every school assembly that I’ve done this year in the state of West Virginia the kids have been incredible,” Wells said. “I think the main reason for that is because the teachers have been doing an awesome job, not being just good teachers but being good rule models. I do school assemblies all over Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky, so I know what I’m talking about. My hats off to the teachers and the administrators!”
Wells is founder of a national syndicated radio show that is in 20 different markets across the country. Also, Wells is the founder of several music festivals such as the Vienna Rib and Jazz Festival, Nashville Rib and Jazz Festival, and the Bowling Green Rib and Music Festival which will be held in 2016.
Wells has accomplished a lot in his career, but as a musician he wanted to influence and inspire the younger generation by going into the public schools and speaking about the power of music, achieving dreams, and most importantly, putting an end to bullying.
“The main reason why so many kids don’t do as well as they should is because they start believing what other people say,” Wells said. “The main reason why I succeeded in music is because I believed in myself, I refused to believe what everyone else was saying, how I would never make it in the music business, I’m not talented enough, I didn’t get the right training. There’s three key ingredients that I tell kids, if they really want to do well either in school, music or sports you have to have ‘Desire, Discipline and Determination.'”
Wells provided a few statistics about bullying:
– 1 out of 3 kids are bullied every day of the school year
– 1 out of 5 kids do the bullying
– Over 160,000 kids don’t go to school because their afraid of being bullied
– 64 percent of children who are bullied do not report it, and only 36 percent actually report being bullied
– School-based bullying prevention programs decrease bullying up to 25 percent
– 1 out of 4 students report being bullied during the school year (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2015)
Wells said he was bullied during his senior year at a high school in Dallas, Texas.
“Coming in as a new student, especially as a senior can be extremely difficult for anyone,” he said. “As for me, I have to say it was a big end type of school, with a lot of money. Still to this day, I don’t know why I was bullied, maybe it was because I couldn’t keep up with the Jones’ ‘so to speak,’ or it could have been they didn’t want any outsiders coming in. It came to a point where I couldn’t take it anymore where I left the school. Over 95 percent of the reason why kids get bullied is because of ones appearance, it’s the way they look!”