Songbirds Guitars for Kids:
Music has been left behind in today’s educational system. This creative void has left students without a basic knowledge or an appreciation of music. Music brings people together—providing a communal bridge, linking unlike minds, and forging relationships. Music is one of the most transformative forms of communication— transcending barriers and creating common ground. It has the ability to bind us together as well as strengthen us as individuals. No matter how different or distant a culture, one can always gather an understanding of that culture through their music.
Songbirds Guitars for Kids Program furthers these philosophies—providing guitar lessons, music therapy, and other musical experiences to hundreds of youth across Chattanooga. The SBF has partnered with Children’s Hospital at Erlanger, Siskin Children’s Institute, YMCA YCAP Chattanooga, Unity Performing Arts, and The Creative Discovery Museum to provide free guitar lessons and in-depth music therapy to kids who would otherwise be without music education.
Classes focus on guitar basics and provide students with the fundamentals by exposing them to a wide variety of playing styles and techniques. As students grow with the program they focus on music theory and specific genres and styles. Music theory classes focus on scales, music notation, ear training, harmony, and basic arranging. These classes are geared towards helping participants understand, analyze, and listen in an informed manner. The Songbirds Foundation also integrate regional and national artists into this program. Students are able to attend free shows and perform, collaborate, and record with these artists.
Classes also offer students a forum to discuss social, health, and life issues. Certified music therapists use music to help students work through these issues. Students also work in groups that allow them to create friendships and establish music bonds with other players. This type of group interaction is essential for kids who have experienced bullying, or have developmental disorders such as autism or Asperger’s.