Program Gets Instruments into the Hands of Students

Program Gets Instruments into the Hands of Students

The hands-on music lesson was part of Western's Instrument Infusion program.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Students dreaming to be a musician got some help to live that dream.

Fifth graders in the St. Joseph School District got the opportunity to learn and play instruments at Missouri Western State University Wednesday.

The hands-on music lesson was part of Western's Instrument Infusion program.

"This has been a really effective project," said MWSU Orchestra Director Rico McNeela. "It gets the kids close to the instrument, they get a chance to try and play each one of them and they invariably get excited about it."

This is the fourth year for the program. School district leaders credit the program for helping grow interest in the music program.

"It's really done good things for the music program in the public schools and helped enthusiasm in young people for instrumental music," said Darren Verbick, Fine Arts Coordinator for the St. Joseph School District.

Students are able to join band or orchestra in sixth grade.

The hope is that kids will want to continue learning about music.

"A life without music is a pretty gray life," said McNeela. "This is a way of giving kids a chance to get started with an instrument so they can play for themselves instead of having a life of nothing but carrying around an ipod and some earbuds.  This is a chance to make music and it's a way to get started.  That's what we're trying to do, is give them some excitement about doing it for themselves."
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