Financial cutbacks have really hit our school systems hard and often the first programs to be cut are those related to the Arts. In many instances, the elementary and middle schools no longer offer any music classes! It is our belief that music is often an important
ingredient in a balanced life and a well-adjusted personality. In national surveys, music programs have been shown to be the number one motivation for keeping children out of trouble. Its healing powers can lift the spirits and give kids an alternative to the all-too-common negative influences so prevalent in today’s society. Because of the self-dicipline and creative thinking that comes from developing musical skills, Fortune 500 companies look for employees with a strong background in music
Blues in the Schools
This is one of our favorite ongoing programs that we have created at S.D.P. and also one of the most popular. Harmonica player Cindy Hayden and bassist Tom Fuller, working in cooperation with our local schools, teach classes that introduce the children to Blues music. We perform a few tunes for them and then we get them involved in sing-a-longs, introducing them to various percussion instruments along the way. Each child is given a harmonica and some detailed instruction on how to care for it. They are taught some basic rudiments and also how to play the major scale. Then we get the kids to jam with us on a couple more tunes. The joy on their faces is evident and heartwarming.
After working through all the students of a given grade, usually over the course of several weeks, we have an assembly of all the students in the gymnasium for one last class. We review the lessons we went over in the classrooms and share in some sing-a-longs. We have some of the students get up and show off their new harmonica skills while, in the background, we show a power point display of photos we’ve taken over the course of the program. For the climax, we have all the kids play their harmonicas at once on one of their newly learned Blues tunes. We’ve had over 1,000 children playing simultaneously and can guarantee that it is an unforgettable experience.
Tom and Cindy are highly sought after to implement this program. They both display a real passion for working with kids. Cindy, in particular, has a personable approach capable of reaching even the most resistant child. They do it to keep the music known as the Blues alive and to share their obvious love of music with its future fans.
The harmonicas made by Hohner, cost $6 a piece (instruments costing less than this are not really worth using as they often don’t work well and certainly don’t last long).
Sometimes the school has partial funding for the harmonicas and the students’ parents make up the difference. Sometimes local service groups such as The Kiwanis Club, donate the harmonicas. There are various ways to acquire the harmonicas if needed so please inquire if interested. The rewards of this program are manifold and we have the whole-hearted endorsement of many local schools as proof. In fact, we have had nothing but extremely positive feedback from each of our clients.
We are proud to claim that in 2004 alone, we taught over 4,000 students and 2005 has shown an increase in the program's popularity.
Another program that Tom and Cindy offer schools and organizations (not necessarily limited to youth groups) is a class in writing Blues songs. We go over the basic forms of chord progression and song structure and, more importantly, writing lyrics.
We have witnessed an amazing level of joy and newly-awakened creativity in this newest area of our music education program. Whether being serious or just plain silly, people, young and old, really delight in setting their own lyrics to music and then hearing them performed by the group. A nominal fee is charged for this particularly rewarding program. Call for rates.
If you are interested in bringing either of these highly praised programs to your school or private group, please give us a call. We have a few openings left for the 2006 school year and we would love to share the Blues with your students.
Please Call: (517) 796-9368