The Sun News

Miller second-graders win $1,500 grand prize in music contest

Students in Ashley Casson’s second-grade class at Miller Elementary changed around some lyrics of a song, entered a contest and won $1,500 for their classroom.

The students won the grand prize for the classroom music contest sponsored by the B95.1 Kidd Kraddick Morning Show.

Along with the $1,500, the students will get to Skype with the band OneRepublic. The children also will receive a cupcake party from B95.1 DJ Justin Bryant,

The contest encouraged students to remake a song, either by changing the lyrics into words about their class, or just keeping the same lyrics, but making a creative video. This is the fifth year the nationally syndicated Kidd Kraddick Morning Show has offered this contest.

Elizabeth Johnson, principal of Miller Elementary School, said that the activity was fun but incorporated a lot of skills as well.

“Mrs Casson used this as a learning tool,” Johnson said. “They worked on writing, on putting together a production, on critical thinking skills.”

It was Casson’s husband who first alerted her to the contest after hearing about it on the radio. Part of the contest required the song to be changed be a OneRepublic song.

The children modified the lyrics of OneRepublic’s “I Lived” and renamed the song “I Learned.”

“The original is about how to live your dreams, how to do your best, and I just thought it was appropriate for our class,” Casson said.

Casson was informed about three weeks ago that her class won the elementary school division, and she learned last week that they had won the overall grand prize.

She will use the money for supplies and technology for her classroom, but will save a little to purchase fun things for the end of the year party.

The video, which is available to watch on YouTube at, was shot all around the Miller campus. It has already been shared with OneRepublic’s 14 million fans on social media.

“It was just a great learning activity,” Casson said. “I teach the gifted and talented, and part of our curriculum is using the arts. So this was just a great end of the year project to put together everything we have learned this year.”