Grammy award-winning artist returns to Emerson Elementary School to give back

MAYWOOD, Ill. (WLS) -- It's not every day you get a front row seat to a performance by a Grammy winner.

Isaiah Sharkey returned home to his alma mater, Emerson Elementary School on Wednesday, to deliver brand-new instruments, entertain and visit with students.

Sharkey's donation of acoustic and electric guitars, drums and more aims to bolster the school's music program and make it possible for more kids to unleash their inner music-makers.

Being Class President in 2004 and the MVP on the school's volleyball team were just the beginning of Sharkey's achievements. He also work with artist D'Angelo on the album, Black Messiah, and went on to win the 2015 Grammy Award for Best R&B Album. It didn't stop there. Isaiah also worked, recorded, and toured with several world-renown and Grammy award-winning artists including John Mayer, Patti LaBelle, Christopher Martin of Coldplay, Paul Simon, Corrine Bailey Rae, Mike Posner, Keith Urban, Brian McKnight, Boyz II Men, Lalah Hathaway, and many others.

Sharkey's visit is in partnership with the music education nonprofit "Little Kids Rock."

"It brings back a lot of really good memories with friends and teachers" said Sharkey, who won his first Grammy 11 years after graduating. "It makes me feel old too."

Sharkey's music teacher, Elizabeth Hedberg, is even still at Emerson adding to the nostalgia.

"These instruments will be used by my second, third, fourth, and fifth grade students. So we have about 200 students that will be using them in their music classes next year," Hedberg said.

The Emerson choir performed with Sharkey, with many saying some day they aspire to be like him.

"I will be like Isaiah Sharkey one day" said 4th grade student Cameron Reed.
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