Abbotsfield Music Program
The Abbottsfield neighbourhood of Edmonton is an economically-depressed area. There is much in the area to lure an unhappy and searching youth into a life of crime and addiction, and little to attract him or her into a life of real self-expression and accomplishment.<!--more-->
The Abbottsfield Music Program (AMP) is working with neighbourhood schools and service organizations to offer positive life choices for the neighbourhood children. AMP will establish and operate a music school that will offer free music lessons (in guitar, piano, and voice) to 50 children ages 6 to 12 years old in the Abbottsfield, Beacon Heights, Bergman, Beverly Heights, and Rundle Heights neighbourhoods of Edmonton, Alberta. Because AMP intends to offer its services at no cost to the student or the student’s family, only at-risk and disadvantaged youth will be eligible.
In addition to offering free musical instruction on guitar, piano, and voice, AMP will provide each student with a loaned instrument that the student may practice on at home. As the students progress, AMP will provide opportunities for them to perform in public, to learn the craft of songwriting, and to record their own original music.
Who Will it Benefit?
The value that may be achieved through this music program is immeasurable. Music provides an outlet for creativity and personal expression, and it provides opportunities for a young student to discover and build upon ideas and feelings that are, at the same time, both personal and universal. Learning to sing or play a musical instrument is an exciting and very satisfying experience. Of course, not all students of music will go on to a career in music, but their lives will have been enriched in many ways. The study of music may have many long-term and far-reaching benefits such as:
<li>more focused listening skills</li>
<li>better auditory memory</li>
<li>improved reading skills</li>
<li>a better vocabulary</li>
<li>better study habits</li>
<li>better marks in writing, math, and science</li>
<li>enhanced fine motor skills</li>
Music students from low-income families are less likely to drop out of school; instead, they are more likely to stay engaged and go on to college or university. Their experiences in learning and performing music will have given them the confidence they need to ask important questions and to make their own decisions as they pursue their career goals. Students will gain a feeling of achievement as they participate in the Abbottsfield Music Program, and this will have a direct positive impact on their future and will be a real investment in the community.