Jan Wilkens, Executive Director of The Tom and Virginia Seely Foundation, presents a check to BlackCat Music Cooperative Executive Director Janet Gauthier and Jonathan McBee, Lead Instructor for the Youth Mentorship Program at BCMC. This grant will provide needed funds to ensure the many programs under the Youth Mentorship Program will continue at BlackCat Music Cooperative. A grateful and sincere thank you to Jan Wilkens and the Seely Foundation/Paradox Fund for their continual support of our mission to empower youth through music.
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Boys and Girls Club Guitar Club
November 1st was the start of our guitar club at the Boys and Girls Club in Berkeley Springs. A lot of preparation went into making sure this program would be a success from the get-go. Before we could get this club off the ground, we needed to approach the Boys and Girls Club about starting the program, find funding for the project, and search for a talented instructor.
We approached Chris Risinger, director of the B & G Club – Berkeley Springs branch – with our vision for the program. After some planning and logistics, we were ready to find funding and an instructor. A local guitar player and youth group leader in Berkeley Springs, Jason Hiles, expressed interest in teaching the lessons. With Jason on board, finding money was the next step. We applied for and received a grant from a generous donor through the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation. This grant completely covered the costs to run the program for its first year, including the guitars and all the accessories: gig bags, tuners, straps and books. Our thanks go out to the family foundation who so generously funded this program.
Pictured above are the absolutely beautiful Cort brand guitars we purchased for the kids. They sound as good as they look! If the kids who signed up for the program stick with it, these guitars are theirs to keep after the school year is over. We are very excited to see how these kids improve over the course of the year, not only with their guitar playing skills, but also with their overall self-esteem and school performance. Stay tuned!
20 Important Benefits of Music in Our Schools
Nearly everyone enjoys music, whether by listening to it, singing, or playing an instrument. But despite this almost universal interest, many schools are having to do away with their music education programs. This is a mistake, with schools losing not only an enjoyable subject, but a subject that can enrich student’s lives and education. Read on to learn why music education is so important, and how it offers benefits even beyond itself. Continue reading “20 Important Benefits of Music in Our Schools”