First United Methodist Church
Sunday, December 05, 2021

Mission Statement: The Music Academy @ First’s mission is to provide quality musical training at no cost to financially disadvantaged children, by seeking to use the power of music and musical instruction to improve the lives of these at-risk youth.

 

The Music Academy @ First’s curricular goals include building basic music appreciation, providing a structured environment for the children, and further developing self-discipline through instrument practice. The lessons students learn while studying music help them to be more precise, to be better listeners, to collaborate well with others, to express themselves, and to persevere when setting and achieving goals.

 

The Music Academy @ First’s long-term aim is to strengthen our community by reaching out to one child at a time. We hope to see our students become well- rounded individuals who, even if they choose not to make their career in music, maintain a lifelong passion for and connection with the arts.

 

History: Hunt A+ Elementary School (Hunt) and First United Methodist Church (First UMC) have been in partnership with each other for over 20 years. A new Hunt School is being built across the street from First UMC. 90% of Hunt School students get free or reduced priced lunch and meals. Piano lessons are not offered in the elementary schools so First UMC and Hunt began a program to offer piano lessons for students in grades three through five in the fall of 2017. Piano lessons happened Monday afternoons from 2:45-3:30. For the 2017-18 school year, we had 35 students participating and we had 26 in the 2018-19 school year.  We paused the program when the old Hunt school was torn down the fall of 2018.

 

Plan: The new Hunt Elementary building will be opened for the start of school next fall, 2022. We will be resuming the beginning piano lessons for 4th and 5th graders on the Monday early outs during the staff development time. We are also looking to offer private string, advanced piano, and band instrument lessons with qualified instructors paid through the Music Academy @ First. There is also the possibility of expanding to other schools as the program grows. As we look to the future, the plan would be to continue offering these lessons through middle and high school as long as the student qualifies for free or reduced lunches and continues to meet student expectations set by the Music Academy @ First.

 

Who is eligible for these lessons: The Music Academy will be offering free music lessons to students who qualify for free or reduced lunches based on the U.S.D.A. standards.