“I like how it sounds and how you have to hold it proper.” That’s one of many reasons 10 year old Adalyna Walker and many students are learning to play the violin. They’re members of “ClubO”, a partnership between Fort Wayne Community Schools and the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.
For three days out of the week, they put their chins down and their bows up to string out music in the lower level of South Wayne elementary school. “I love playing the violin,” said Adalyna. “I’m blessed I get to play.”
The Philharmonic’s principal violist Derek Reeves is their instructor. “Initially it was a joint venture between the Phil and the Boys and Girls Club but now it’s expanded into FWCS,” said Reeves. “They’re learning about playing music, they’re learning about music theory, they’re learning about playing together. It’s long been recognized that the study of a musical instrument is a great way to build character and to build skills of discipline. It makes them better students.”
Aaron Samra is ClubO’s Program Manager. “We’re at Forest Park, South Wayne and Waynedale,” said Samra. “We have about 100 kids between the three schools who are taking violin lessons after school. It starts out with snacks and homework help for the first part of it and then they get an hour of rehearsal three days a week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.”
The “ClubO” program is funded through grants and private donations. It’s designed to transform kids lives through music. The children in this year’s program rehearsed for about three months before performing April 12, 2018 during a concert at Wayne High School with members of the Philharmonic. Eleven year old Rajah Lloyd said she’s learned a lot. “I learned that the violin is an amazing instrument and that I really like to play it and I learned the four fingers and all the notes.”
“For a long time the study of music has been the domain of the privileged few,” said Reeves. “So one of the things we’re aspiring to do through this program is to make music lessons available to the community at large.”
Go to the Fort Wayne Philharmonic’s website for more information about its programs.