Program aims to give urban students one-on-one music instruction - KCTV5

Program aims to give urban students one-on-one music instruction

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There's a program in the Kansas City metro that aims to give students in the urban core one-on-one classical musical instruction.

One young woman nervously auditioned to land a spot in the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance Musical Bridges program. Students from all over the metro are also auditioning in hopes of getting a leg up on the competition to one day play professionally.

"I love playing my instrument. It's music. I love music and how it flows and go through you," Areonan Snelson said.

On the end of Areonan's viola is a souvenir from her instructor. It reminds her that music opens doors to life experiences.

"My instructor, Miss Angie, she went to China and got paid to go to there," she said.

Four years ago Areonan's fourth-grade teacher inspired her to audition for the program Musical Bridges.

"The songs got harder and harder so daily I spend about three hours practicing," she said.

Now, as an eighth-grade student, Areonan is planning for her future and that future includes owning her very own viola.

"There is a concert coming up that I'm trying to get my own that UMKC is going to give to me until the end of the program. Then I'm going to try and make enough money to buy my own. Until then, this is orangey," she said.

Orangey is a viola that is loaned to Areonan. She is one of the students chosen to receive one-on-one lessons through Musical Bridges.

"Music is discipline, it is a craft. It's my personal belief and this program's belief that every student should have a craft something they can be proud of doing," said Mark Stauffer, an instructor of cello and Musical Bridges coordinator.

Areonan is not only proud of what she's done, she also wants to pass the torch to other young musicians.

"I would love for this to continue for everyone to have a chance to help with their skills and master their instrument of their choice. It will really help improve morals and discipline for those who really need it," she said.

All of the program's graduating seniors since 2008 have gone on to college and some have earned significant scholarships. The program is holding a gala benefit next month to not only sustain the current students, but also add new spots. Currently 50 students in the metro are hoping to join the program.

The gala will be held on Friday, April 26 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. It will be held at the Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity, located at 500 West Pershing in Kansas City, MO. The 2013 Musical Bridges Gala's proceeds benefit the Conservatory in the Schools outreach programs. Guest artist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) performs with Sabrina Madison-Cannon and DeeAnna Hiett of the UMKC Conservatory dance faculty, and students from the Conservatory in the Schools programs.

Tickets may be purchased by calling 816-235-2963 or clicking here.

Click here for more on the Musical Bridges program.

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