Free summer music program for kids

July 27, 2008 7:47:31 PM PDT
Children in one Long Island school district are learning to fine-tune their music skills. It's a free program, and it's not just for kids who already play an instrument. Beginners are also welcome.

The students at Howard T. Herber Middle School in Malverne are spending their summer vacation practicing on the flute, clarinet, sax and trumpet.

"I find playing the trumpet challenging and inspirational. It makes a really good hobby," 14-year-old John Rotondi said.

The summer sessions are sponsored by the Malverne School District where playing an instrument is a big deal. The district is known for its music programs and award-winning marching band.

The kids don't need band member dreams to play here. Classes are open to all students.

"They have a few weeks to see if they really like to play instrument or would like to switch, so it's a short time for them to get an idea of what they want to do," program director Erin Lynch said.

Some have discovered they like to play the clarinet.

"Fun for me," Julia Tricolla said. "It's easier than the trumpet and it's lighter."

Students from Malverne High School teach the classes. Vaughn Johnson also plays in the school's band. He said being here keeps him on his musical toes.

"It keeps me on track for the summer because I have to practice," he said.

In turn, these teachers are hoping to inspire their younger school to join the marching band.

The program also offers trombone and tuba lessons. Kids who don't own their own instruments can rent them for a small fee.

For more information on the program, call the Malverne Superintendent's Office at 516-887-6405.