Montgomery Music Project aims to fill gap

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Just two months ago, many of the students in the Montgomery Music Project didn't know a violin from a trumpet.  Now, they're on their way to making beautiful music.

The project aims to fill a gap by exposing these youngsters to instruction in string instruments that isn't always present in their schools. 34 students from E.D. Nixon, Montgomery Academy and Wilson Elementary participate the project.  Nine students come on Saturdays only.

Ezekiel Locke is training on the viola.

'It's deeper than a violin, it's not as high-pitched, so it really doesn't hurt my ears," Locke said. "It's fun, It's something I enjoy doing."

Laura Usiskin founded the project, which is run under the auspices of the Montgomery Symphony Foundation.  She is a cello fellow with Montgomery Symphony Orchestra.  Other instructors are also accomplished musicians.  They're spreading their passion to a new generation.

"Playing a stringed instrument is pretty complicated, it takes a lot of dexterity," Usiskin said.  So that's why it's important to start them at a young age, so that they can get used to playing the instruments."

Not only are the students learning music from trained musicians, they're also learning skills that can help them throughout their lives.

"They're learning to work together as a team, have long-term goals, to problem solve, to think critically,"  Usiskin said.

The goal here isn't to create virtuosos, but some of the students have potential to play their instruments long after the program is finished.

The students are performing in their first concert on Saturday December 17th.  It's at 1 P.M. at Trinity Presbyterian Church.  It's free and open to the public.  For more information on the project or how to donate, click here.

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