ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Once deemed a "failure factory," Melrose Elementary School in St. Petersburg has climbed its way up to a C rating.

  • Melrose Elementary School launches culture, arts club
  • Keyboards donated by Gasparilla Music Foundation
  • School has improved its rating

School officials there credit the turnaround to teaching outside the box.

The school is now launching a new Culture and Arts club to help continue that trend and on Wednesday, students participated in their first ever piano lesson.

"It went pretty well for children who have never touched a piano before,” said music teacher Kevin Parrot. "This allows the students to expand their reading, their writing, their memory, math and science. Because music encompasses all of those."

"I'm very excited," said fifth-grader Santana Holt.  

Keyboards for the club were donated by the Gasparilla Music Foundation. 

"These are 61 keys, full keyboard. Great music tool for young students," said foundation executive director David Cox.

The Culture and Arts club will meet after school.

Along with piano lessons, students have the opportunity to learn fashion and design and participate in drum line.