It’s no secret that music education is offered less and less in today’s public schools. As a result, many students are not offered the opportunity to play a musical instrument or to learn the basic foundations of music.
Neighbors For Kids (NFK) believes strongly in making music lessons accessible to more children in the region. So during the Kids Zone after school and summer programs, students are engaged in music lessons, starting with the building blocks of reading music. Students learn how to read music measures, and then they are given the opportunity to learn how to play an instrument.
Instruments range from the acoustic, electric and bass guitars, mandolin, percussions, ukulele, didgeridoo, flute and piano. Each child is given the option to choose what instrument(s) they would like play, and then receive group and individual lessons based on skill levels. NFK’s youth facility in Depoe Bay now has two separate music studios dedicated to this specific program. In addition to ongoing music lessons, children attend field trips to musical concerts and take part in special group workshops throughout the year.
The recently expanded music education program at the Kids Zone is composed of three talented music teachers, each with a specialization in various instrument groups. The veteran instructor is Diane Robertson who has 13 years of experience at the Kids Zone teaching the elements of piano, including the coordination of hands, self-discipline, and memorization.
The second teacher is Melody Jackson, specializing in percussion. Melody has experience playing music since 1992 and is the drummer for the popular local band, “Island Joy.” She is a recent addition to the Kids Zone musical family.
A third new music teacher is Tony Kaltenberg, specializing in various instruments related to the guitar family. Tony has been playing music for many years, continues to tour the world playing concerts and also teaches private lessons at Red Lotus Music located in Newport, Oregon.
A unique aspect of the music education program is that many of these instruments are derived from various different cultures. At the Kids Zone, culture reverberates in the music room with the ukulele, didgeridoo, flute and various drums from native cultures. These instruments allow the students to perceive the world beyond our Oregon borders, and they are exposed to the fact that not all music is played with modern instruments. Most students playing the instruments have become interested in the anthropology and history of music.
NFK’s Music Education Program has been generously supported by the Siletz Tribal Charitable Contribution Fund and Trust Management Services, LLC. To register your child in the Kids Zone Program, learn more about other Neighbors For Kids programs, sign up as a volunteer or to make a charitable contribution, please call 541-765-8990 or visit the organization’s website at www.NeighborsForKids.Org or feel free to arrange a site tour and meeting.