Since starting work here at JAZZEDGE as the Student Services Representative many of my daily tasks have involved communicating with students and researching new ways to connect with not only our students but our community. Willie and Valerie have been interested in doing more piano workshops and giving back to the community for awhile, it was now my job to make this happen. In my research I began looking at organizations and school programs that promote Music Education in their events and curriculum. Then in January we were actually approached by a non-profit organization trying to do the same thing.
Ironically, Maria Pree, from SWAP Inc., was working on setting up a week long event to promote “real music” to the youth of Providence, RI. She ran across PianoWithWillie in her research and wanted Willie to begin the event with a piano workshop. The group of fifteen students participating in the event ranged from 7 to 13 years old. It was a perfect fit.
Excited about this great opportunity, I began gathering information and research right away. The night before our music education workshop I drove to the event location to double check that there was enough space for Willie’s equipment. It was perfect. We arrived right on time the next morning geared up with Willie’s bass, keyboard, and photographer Matt Ferrara.
Willie went through some of the basics of music and the instruments that are discussed in the JazzKids or Piano Basics Vol.1 for any members to the site. Willie only focused on four notes for the kids to learn. The kids, the workers of SWAP and myself were able to look at music in a whole new and beautiful way.
The kids loved it. Everyone got the chance to play bass, drums, and piano with Willie Myette. It was amazing watching Willie’s gift of teaching with these kids who had little to no previous education in music. He was able to entertain, teach, and make the kids appreciate different forms of music and instruments.
What I learned from this event and from Willie was : Music is a language that the whole world can understand and appreciate. Regardless of your age, you are able to learn new and exciting things as long as you take your time and find the right answers. The able to accomplish you thought was impossible cannot be greater and I was able to see Willie deliver that feeling for all these kids.
All photography and video taken by Matt Ferrara