The Rotary Club of Penticton-Okanagan is collecting gently used instruments so they may be passed on to local children.
“Clearly, music education can be game changing in empowering children to reach their full creative, cooperative and caring potential. Our intent, as service-minded Rotarians, is to help ensure that every child, irrespective of social status, is afforded this opportunity,” said Mac Paterson, project co-chair.
Organizers of the initiative said aside from personal enjoyment and cultural growth, music education can make a transformative difference in a child’s intellectual and emotional development. Current neurosciences research has revealed music training is related to numerous benefits ranging from improved language ability and increased emotional resilience, to greater compassion and increased attention span and self confidence.
Tracy Stuchbery, piano instructor with the Academy of Music and artistic director, Musaic Vocal Ensemble, enthusiastically endorses the Rotary project as a wonderful starting point for educating and engaging the community in music education.
“I know of no other activity that fully integrates the experience of being human than engaging in the act of playing music. Cognitive, social and emotional needs are met and nourished in a wholesome, life-giving environment with benefits that last a lifetime,” said Stuchbery.
Some children are prevented from realizing these life-enriching benefits, because their families cannot afford to purchase the desired musical instruments. To help alleviate this financial barrier, the Rotary Club of Penticton-Okanagan is spearheading a drive to collect musical instruments, along with providing some funds to restore instruments, where necessary. This community service project is being undertaken as a joint venture with Penticton Secondary School, Princess Margaret Secondary School and the Penticton Academy of Music. Collected instruments will be shared among their respective music programs, along with those at KVR and Skaha Lake Middle Schools.
Justin Glibbery, Pen Hi’s music teacher, pianist (Offramp Jazz Sextet), composer and Artistic Director, Naramata Community Choir, reinforces Stuchbery’s passionate support.
“Playing in a school music ensemble is an experience unlike any other. The sense of teamwork and camaraderie is an experience that will last a lifetime and be of huge benefit to everyone. Playing a musical instrument develops so many parts of who we are. We need to make sure that all students have access to this wonderful experience and this collection drive from Rotary will help ensure that it happens,” said Glibbery.
The general public is invited to donate gently used musical instruments that after the kids have left the nest, for example, are currently gathering dust and cobwebs in residential closets and basements. The collection drive will run from Oct. 3 to Oct 21.
All types of instruments, except pianos, drum kits and keyboards, will be gratefully accepted. Instruments may be dropped off Monday to Friday at Penticton Secondary and Princess Margaret (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and the Penticton Art Gallery (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.).