“WE JUST WANT TO CELEBRATE YOU!”

All of our kids, parents, family and friends want to thank you for making #Giving Tuesday a big success! We reached our goal of $2500 and it was matched by one of our individual donors for a grand total of $5,000!!

Your love and generosity will make sure that musical education programs for our area youth will continue. Funding will also be used for instruments, qualified instructors and new programs! Thank you so much!!

BlackCat Music Cooperative, empowering youth through music!

Dad’s trumpet for a guitar!

As we continue our “Music In Your Life” series, the spotlight shines on Sir Paul McCartney. Paul’s dad played trumpet and piano and even had his own band, “The Jim Mac Jazz Band.” Jim had a upright piano in the home and encouraged Paul to take lessons, but young McCartney liked playing by ear.

On Paul’s 14th birthday, his dad gave him a nickel plated trumpet, but soon after, with rock and roll music becoming popular, he traded it on an acoustic guitar. Because he is left handed, it was hard to play, so he reversed the order of the strings. One other note from the early days, Paul wrote “When I’m Sixty Four” on his dad’s upright piano in the living room when he was about 16! John Lennon remembers the Beatles singing the song as part of an acoustic set, whenever their amplifiers broke down or the power would go out at the clubs in the early days of the band.

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.

Jason

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”