Blues News

Donation of the Week

KTBA Expands Elementary String Program

dallas, tx – Thanks to your donations, Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation donated nine (9) new youth-sied string instruments to Preston Hollow Elementary School!

At Preston Hollow, students in Ms. Woodring’s orchestra meet in a portable on the far side of the playground in the afternoon. On average, 15-20 students are eager for her class.  Already in her third year, Ms. Woodring has seen these students grow – not just musically but physically as well!

Ms. Woodring describes her setup at the school – “Currently 35 fourth graders are enrolled in strings representing 66% of the entire grade. Being in strings is pretty much the “cool” thing to do! While the fourth graders are working on basics of position and technique using simple folk songs, the fifth graders are preparing for a program [this month] where they will perform folk songs from different countries in [different] parts.  Currently there is a push to extend the program to the lower grades!”

The beauty of teaching strings, according to Woodring, is that the orchestral instruments are available in different sizes.

“Whereas our current fourth and fifth graders are using 1/2, 3/4 and full sized instruments, these sizes are simply too large for the little ones. In order to offer strings to grades 1, 2, and 3, we will need instruments in smaller sizes – namely 1/8 and 1/4 size violins, violas and cellos. We are in the process of generating an interest survey of the lower grades to determine how many instruments will be needed but given the interest in the upper grades we are estimating that even if 25% of the parents sign up we will need a minimum of 10 instruments per grade or 30 instruments to start. The request for 8 violins and one cello would be a terrific start, even if students have to share the instruments to get started in the 2015-2016 school year. Classes would meet twice a week and would predominantly follow the Suzuki format for early string instruction (for which I am trained).”

As a result of the donation drives of the past week, Keeping the Blues Alive helped Ms. Woodring reach her goal of providing nine (9) new size-fitted string outfits for her classroom!  9 students will have instruments that fit, which will allow them to grow at their own pace and better utilize their new skills.

I’m speechless! It’s been less than a week since I posted this at the recommendation of a very eager parent. Thank you SO MUCH! Preston Hollow Elementary School thanks you. Principal Brandt thanks you. Parent Rackel Patel thanks you. We will keep you posted on the purchase and implementation of these instruments!


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