This Year's Project: Handchime Groups at Bryant Elementary
About Our Organization
The Music Academy @ First is an outreach mission of the First United Methodist Church. Its mission is to provide free quality musical training to financially disadvantaged children, by using the power of music and musical instruction to improve the lives of these at-risk youth. We give free beginning piano lessons and teach handchime groups to students at Hunt A+ Elementary School. And we also offer free 30 minute private instrumental and vocal lessons weekly to students who qualify for free/reduced lunch and cannot afford to take private lessons. Last year the Music Academy @ First provided these free musical opportunities to 87 students. The Music Academy @ First admits students of any race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, national and ethnic origin.
Current Project: Handchime Groups at Bryant Elementary
The principal and music teacher at Bryant Elementary School have extended an invitation for us to provide handchime instruction to their students. Last year, we successfully conducted handchime sessions for 4th and 5th graders at Hunt A+ Arts Elementary School. We engaged a diverse group of 40 students, all whom actively participated. These groups showcased their skills with performances in both December and May.
It was particularly heartening to witness the progress of students facing language barriers and academic challenges. Despite their difficulties, they displayed remarkable proficiency in the handchime groups! This serves as a testament to the transforming power of music, allowing struggling students to discover their hidden talents and excel.
At Bryant Elementary, our proposal involves establishing two handchimes groups: one for 4th graders and another for 5th graders during the autumn term. During the spring term, we intend to introduce an additional two groups, broadening the scope for students to engage and learn. Each of these groups will be provided with the platform to present their skills, whether at a concert, assembly, or any suitable event.
In order to complete this project, we need the equipment and supplies for the handchime groups. A 37-note (three octave) set of Malmark Chimes cost $2,960, 8 pads for the three eight-foot tables to protect the handchimes cost $800, covers for the 8 pads cost $219.80, table drapes for 3 tables cost $645, music and miscellaneous supplies cost $75, and shipping is estimated at $350, which brings the total to $5,049.80.
Beginning piano lessons for Hunt A+ Arts Elementary School students
The Music Academy @ First is offering free beginning piano lessons to 4th and 5th grade students at Hunt A+ Arts Elementary School on Mondays after school gets out at 2:30 pm. There is no cost for students or the school. We will be offering 3 sessions that last 7 weeks throughout the year. Each session would have 12 students, which affords 36 students each year the opportunity to take piano lessons. The cost for a student to take 7 weeks of piano lessons is $160 per student. That cost includes piano books, practice keyboards and headphones loaned to the student to practice at home, and maintanence and tuning of the pianos at the Music Academy.
At Hunt School about 92% of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch based on USDA standards. The families of those students are unable to afford to pay for music lessons for their children. Jody Nieuwendorp, the elementary music teacher at Hunt says she always has students asking if she could give them lessons, but she is unable because she teaches in multiple buildings. The Music academy @ First will provide the opportunity for Hunt students to take piano lessons. All students participating would meet with an adult (provided by the program) to walk the students from Hunt across the street to First United Methodist Church for their lesson. The piano teachers would have passed backgroud checks and would be role models and mentors to the students .