FLINT TWP. — The sound of music just got sweeter at Carman-Ainsworth Middle School thanks to a matching grant and donation that afforded the purchase of 22 new string instruments.
CAMS received a matching grant from the Classics for Kids Foundation (CFKF) supplemented by an anonymous donation of $5,000 to C-A”s Kyle Hart Music Memorial Fund, said Suzanne Miller, music educator and K- 12 music coordinator.
With the funds, CAMS purchased six cellos, four violas and 12 violins for its orchestra program. These are higherend instruments than the school-owned instruments that students used previously.
“We have not been able to purchase any NEW instruments,” Miller said. “These are the first brand new ones our students are using.”
To Miller’s knowledge, it was the largest cash donation and largest instrument grant ever made to C-A’s instrumental music program. She is not certain how it came about, but the day after announcing that CAMS had received the CFKF grant and made requests for matching fund donations, an anonymous donor delivered a $5,000 check to one of the schools.
The tone quality of the instruments purchased makes a huge difference in the quality of sound being produced by the seventh/eighth grade orchestra, Miller said. The instruments also will be used at the high school.
Studies show that students who play a stringed instrument score higher on standardized tests and develop better self-discipline, according to CFKF’s website.
Massachusetts-based CFKF states that its mission is to bridge the gap where budget cuts have affected school music programs.
With the matching grants, schools are able to purchase high quality instruments that are easier to tune and play, enhance learning, are tonally superior, last longer and inspire young people to continue music studies, CFKF said, adding that inferior instruments cause many students to quit music education out of frustration because the instruments are physically hard to play.
“The students love the new instruments,” Miller said. “They opened the boxes when the shipment came in.”
The public is invited to come and hear for themselves at the next strings performance at the All District Band and Orchestra Concert to be held on April 30, at 7 p.m. in the high school gym.
C-A is always searching for grants to support its music programs and will have the opportunity to apply again for a CFKF grant, Miller said.
She added that C-A continues to accept used instruments and/or cash donations to support the music program.
“Participation in music education should be available to all children regardless of their financial situation,” she said. “The Carman-Ainsworth Kyle Hart Fund helps make music happen for all children.”