Documentary Illuminating the Triumphant Power of Music

The Secret Song chronicles the final months of Doug Goodkin’s fabled 45-year career teaching music to children in San Francisco. In what could have been a celebratory victory lap, the veteran teacher finds his efforts to instill a sense of belonging interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Goodkin’s time-tested methods are thrown into disarray as the pandemic forces schools into “distance” learning, and a music program that always prioritized singing and learning through the ear, not the eye, has to adapt to an online format. The film shows the dynamism and adaptability that all teachers find and bring forth in the classroom, and how a sense of belonging helps surmount hardships and adversity.

The 90-minute, close-captioned film, which aired on PBS on March 4, 2024, is free to view online through June 2, 2024.

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