Garth Brooks Gets the 5th Grade Treatment

PS22 Choir Covers “People Loving People”

Think about what fifth graders learn in a typical day: fractions and decimals, maybe some entry-level physics and probably a handful of bigger and bolder vocabulary words. But I’m guessing that it’s not every day they get to learn about love.

But that’s what Garth Brooks saw when the PS22 Chorus – from Public School 22 in Staten Island, New York — performed his “People Loving People.”

“When we learn to love like children…just beautiful. love, g,” Brooks tweeted on New Year’s Day (Jan. 1) after seeing the fifth grade singers from the elementary school doing his song.

The 65 kids are accompanied on guitar by their director Gregg Breinberg, and they take the adorable factor up a few notches with hand gestures to go along with the lyrics, which are handwritten on a dry erase board in their music room.

In past interviews, Breinberg has said what makes his choir so special is the kids don’t audition to be Internet sensations. They are just kids who love to sing and they are staying grounded in that. “The majority of the chorus children come from humble and modest backgrounds,” he said in a recent Q&A. “These aren’t spoiled bratty stage kids.”

This Brooks song isn’t the first time the PS22 Chorus has tackled a country song. Two stand out in my memory: Martina McBride’s “Anyway” and Carrie Underwood’s “So Small,” which she performed with them.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.