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MCDONOUGH, Ga. -- A middle school orchestra class is a chance to learn the beauty of string instruments, produce wonderful music and perform lovely symphonies.

It sounds serious, right? Not when Carl Reike is the teacher.

In Reike's orchestra classes at Ola Middle School, playing an instrument is fun.

For instance, during practice he make students smile or laugh by using props, or shooting puffs of air using an air cannon.

He also has a what he calls a "magic" word.

"Whenever I said any form or articulation or articulate or articulate, the kids would have to scream," Reike said.

It's all to get them to pay attention and focus.

Reike is the reason Travis Lorenz has become good enough on bass for an All-State tryout.

"He has never picked up an instrument before 'til Mr. Reike got him," said Dyan Lorenz, Travis' mother.

"He really is why I am interested. I heard about him being the best teacher ever and that's why I joined orchestra," Travis said.

"Just the impact that he has had on Travis' life is unbelievable and I've had two other children go through school and no other teacher has touched their lives the way Mr. Reike has touched Travis'," said Dyan.

"Taking them from no knowledge in the sixth grade to when they leave me in the 8th gradeis whyI love it. I have the best job, don't I?" Reike said to students. "And I'm tearing up as I say it ... don't put that on camera."

Nothing wrong with loving your job, especially when you're making a difference in the lives of students.

11Alive has selected Reike as 11Alive Class Act Teacher.

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