In California, school systems are doing program cuts more and more often, making it nearly impossible to start up music programs and keep them going. As a senior at my High School, I realized that if the elementary schools in the area didn't have music programs, then there wouldn't be any kids to feed into our music program. In order to fix this situation, my fellow classmates and teacher all got together and decided to create a community band. We asked the schools in the area to donate instruments the kids could play. We then visited all the elementary schools and played for them, and then told them that we had a special band just for them! We got volunteers from each section in our band to come and teach the kids how to play. We let them come and try out several instruments until they decided which one they wanted to play. We then sectioned them off into groups according to instrument and began to teach. It was so rewarding and amazing too see how excited the kids were. They put so much energy and time into learning those instruments and were eventually able to put on a little concert. We wound up with a nice little band of about 30 kids ages 8 to 12.
I felt that I gained just as much from this experience as the kids I taught. As a brass player myself, I volunteered to teach the brass section. The kids really looked up to me as their teacher. I learned so much from them as well. Their never-ending desire to learn and know more made me remember how I felt when I was first learning. It made me want to continue sharing the gift of music with everybody. It isn't fair that children miss out on the amazing experience of a music program. I only hope that the program we started will continue helping the kids in our area and that it will give them the same passion for music that I have.