Program helps kids learn music, stay in school - FOX 35 News Orlando

Program helps kids learn music, stay in school

Posted: Updated: Oct 4, 2012 10:46 PM

With tight local school budgets, music education programs keep getting cut. But one after school program has been filling the gap by providing two hours of intense music lessons every day for kids in southwest Atlanta.

At the Atlanta Music Project, they take music instruction very seriously.

An hour of study is followed by hen two hours of practice every day after school.

"We work them really, really hard but they have fun," said Aisha Bowden.

But the program is about so much more than learning the violin or the cello.

"Our goal isn't necessarily to produce the next Yo Yo Ma, our goal is to have all of students graduate high school," said Dantes Rameau.

The after school program isn't funded by Atlanta schools or by the city. In fact, it began with no funding at all.

"We had no product at the time. We had no kids, no program, but we had found out this way that anybody could raise money for any cause, so we put together a Kickstarter campaign in the summer of 2010," said Rameau.

After raising $20,000 in small internet donations, they were up and running. Now they're looking to expand with another online fundraising campaign.

The kids have already taken the stage at Phillips Arena to sing a Pink Floyd classic with Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, so a full-fledged choir program called Amplify is the next step.

"We have a site, we have children ready to sing, we have teaching artists ready to teach," said Bowden.

They just need the cash to get going. Parents and teachers say Atlanta Music Project provides an alternative to being out on the streets or sitting home on the couch.

The fun.is very important and so is the music. But organizers say it's the life skills they hope will make a lasting difference

Atlanta Music Project hopes to raise $20,000 to get the Amplify Choral Project going next month. They already have the students recruited and ready to go.

To help the program reach its goal, check out: http://www.amplifyatl.com

For more information on the project, visit: http://atlantamusicproject.org/

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