Motown star Martha Reeves makes special visit to Ann Arbor Academy

Students get chance to perform for Reeves

By Priya Mann - Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Motown star Martha Reeves visited the Ann Arbor Academy to perform and look for new talent.

"I'll show them me. They'll show me them," Reeves said. "We're going to have a good time."

Before taking the stage, Reeves gave her undivided attention to each student.

"I try to tell them that I had profound teachers who helped me become who I am today," Reeves said.

The Ann Arbor Academy is a school for children with learning differences. Many are on the autism spectrum, have dyslexia or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

"They have a connection to her, so they feel valued, and it's wonderful," said Meredith Schindler, of the Ann Arbor Academy.

"It was amazing," sophomore Meera Kumar said. "I was nervous. I was so excited."

Students also got to perform for Reeves. They belted out the classics with Reeves nodding along. It was an opportunity for students to work through potential sensory issues, between the boisterous crowd, the loud music and the bright lights.

"We try to tell them to work through the anxiety so they can get through the experience," Schindler said.

Reeves said even though she's performed around the world, she feels most at home on stage with children.

"They teach me how to be real, spontaneous," Reeves said. "You're always going to meet someone greater than you, and I'm looking for someone greater than me today."

One of the teachers at the Ann Arbor Academy has been lifelong friends with Reeves. He asked her if she could take some time to meet students, and that led to this event.

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