Monday, May 30, 2016

Breakthrough, by John Grant High School students and David Hodges



Special needs students at John Grant High School in Cote Saint-Luc were mentored by recording artist and producer David Hodges. The result is a remarkable original song and video that gives us a look into their souls.

On April 18 and 19, 2016, John Grant Highs School teacher Marie Francis invited David Hodges to the school. Over these two days, Hodges guided several of the students in produced an original song titled Breakthrough. These novice recording artists have special needs, including selective mutism, speech impediments, and literacy difficulties. Together, these students created a touching and catchy song that provides insight into their thoughts and lives while inspiring the public to reach for their dreams.

The impactful lyrics demonstrate that students were eager to take the opportunity to teach what they have learnt on their journeys. And the tune will stick with you; it's that catchy! 

Their words include: “We’ve all been searching for a light in our souls. Cause we all feel alone.” The chorus is highly encouraging: “We’ve got to break through. Don’t let it change you. It may hurt sometimes. Ya, but we’ll learn to fly. So just hold onto your dreams. Don’t you fall to your knees. Let your light become your saving grace. Cause everyday we can change.”

Teacher Catherine Rendell-Green explains that the song's lyrics tell the life struggles of the students, and come straight from their hearts. "The experience taught us more about the students and the struggles they have had in their lives. It really opened them up. They had the courage to share their stories." she shared. 

This collaboration was made possible trough the Culture in the Schools grant program.  Ms. Rendell-Green created a video to accompany the song. 

To view the video, visit

“As their teacher, I am extremely proud and honoured to witness their growth and maturity,” shared Ms. Francis while encouraging the public to enjoy the music her students created. “The lyrics reflect their lives, their emotions, and their perceptions of the world.”

TUNE INTO GLOBAL MONTREAL TONIGHT AT 5:30 p.m. to see the students interviewed about their song.

Read our Spring/Summer 2016 edition at