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CCA’s independent learning helps pianist stay healthy and succeed in school

A personalized curriculum and caring teachers helped CCA graduate manage his music, health and classes.

For Gabriel, music is a passion. As an independent learner who has been playing piano for almost 11 years, Gabriel is able to pursue his passion overseas thanks to CCA’s personalized education and flexible schedule.

Gabriel credits the teachers he’s had at CCA for making a lasting impact on his life.

“They’re as hands off as you want,” Gabriel said about his teachers. “Or they help as much as you need.”

CCA believes in having teachers collaborate with their students to help them succeed. Since Gabriel preferred music to math, one of his teachers used music to help him engage with her lesson plan.

“There’s one particular teacher, she was teaching me Algebra II, and she created some Algebra II music-related activities. Algebra wasn’t my favorite thing to do, so that helped me enjoy the class more.”

CCA’s online program also showed him how to become his own teacher. “Independence is a humongous part of CCA,” Gabriel said. “It really makes you work to learn, which I feel is the most important part of learning. I have to manage my own time. That’s one of the major things I had a problem with in the beginning, but now I love CCA for that.”

Teaching students responsibility and accountability for their work prepares them for life after high school. CCA focuses on ensuring that students are ready for college and the working world, both in terms of education and life skills.

Gabriel appreciates just how much students can do by themselves. “If you want to learn more about a subject, you can learn more about what’s in the lesson,” he said.

Gabriel said he didn’t feel limited by what was in the curriculum. CCA’s personalized education encouraged him to continue to learn outside of his classes.

Beyond allowing time for the piano, being able to adapt his schedule gave Gabriel the opportunity to manage his health. In his first year of high school, Gabriel experienced a huge amount of stress that caused him to become ill. But when he transferred to CCA, the online program helped change the situation.

“One thing about CCA I really love, I am able to have the time to create a healthy diet for myself. Before, I had a really unhealthy lifestyle and didn’t have time to take care of myself. That’s one of the reasons I came to CCA,” Gabriel said.

After graduating from CCA, Gabriel plans to continue his education with the goal of becoming a classical pianist. Over the next few months, he will be leaving his hometown of Clarks Summit and touring schools overseas in Italy, Poland and Germany.

Piano has been a major part of Gabriel’s life, and CCA’s online program gave him the opportunity to practice as much as he needed.

“If you really value independence, and you have a lot of self-discipline, CCA will reward you greatly,” Gabriel said. “Especially if you want to do something on the side – in sports, music, art. Something that takes a lot of time and you have to practice a lot.”


Commonwealth Charter Academy


August 21st, 2019


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