Music program helps young High Point students pick up their first instruments

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HIGH POINT, N.C. — Just down the street from John Coltrane’s childhood home, a new music program is allowing young High Point students to pick up their first flutes, clarinets and saxophones. 

High Point University’s AmeriCorps VISTA member Clarice Sigsworth is teaching the 6 through 10-year-olds the basics. 

The first lesson of the after school program is music has a rhythm, so the 10 children in the class put their hands together and clap as one.  

The next lesson is to use their instruments and follow the beat.  Sigsworth jumps in when she notices some of the youngsters are not holding their flutes correctly.

After a while, the group is excited because they are catching on to the lesson and staying in rhythm.

“The best part of today’s class was when we learned rhythm and we got to play rhythm. like beats,” said one of the young students.

The moment the group stays on time makes Sigsworth smile.

“I hear hope,” Sigsworth said.  “I hear them believing what comes out, comes out and that’s okay.”

The children can even take their instruments home to practice.

“You get better every time, and you make better beats,” said one of the students.

Patrick Harman is the Executive Director of the Hayden-Harman Foundation. 

Harman explained that the kids can take home the child-friendly plastic instruments because the Foundation paid for them.

“It’s just another opportunity for kids to be exposed to things they normally wouldn’t be exposed to and find a passion,” said Harman.  “They don’t have to be a professional but be attached to positive things.”

The after school group will have a recital in late spring.  Their performance will also include older music students so they can see how their musical talents can develop.

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