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Don Gill Elementary School Adds Keyboard Lessons To Curriculum
Music has proven to be effective in just about every area of a person’s life, including improved communication skills, memory, and even academic success.* To develop the music program even further in Wellsboro’s schools, Don Gill Elementary School will be offering piano lessons as part of the curriculum!
This is a huge step for Wellsboro’s school district, as a program like this has never been done before. Currently, students do not have the opportunity to learn an instrument until fourth grade, where they learn how to play the recorder. However, beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, students in second-fourth grade will begin learning to play the keyboard. Elementary Music Teacher, Molly Cary, says that she plans to teach the keyboard lessons for a few weeks at a time, and then switch back and forth to include other topics such as singing, preparing for concerts, etc. This instrument was chosen because it lays the foundation for singing or playing other instruments in the future, helping with coordination, reading music, and multi-tasking.
“This has been a dream of mine forever,” Cary said. “Music is a lifelong skill – both during school and throughout our adult lives.”
She emphasized that in her personal career, she has seen music help students academically in areas such as science, art, and math. From a young age, Cary knew music was her passion. Her mother, who is also her biggest role model, initially inspired her love for music. As a musician, Cary’s mother recognized the importance of starting music at a young age, and started Molly on piano lessons when she was just five years old. That passion continued throughout her adult life, leading her to major in music education at Ohio Northern University.
Pictured: Molly & her mom
After graduating in 2010, she began her teaching career in Cincinnati, Ohio until she moved to Wellsboro in 2016 to teach grades K-4. When she first started teaching in Wellsboro, she aspired to create a program like this. However, with a lack of funding, it wasn’t possible at the time.
Now, they have been blessed to receive several scholarships and generous donations from organizations and individuals who share in this important vision. The Charles Knox (Chuck) & Margaret (Peg) Etner Foundation, the Packer Foundation, and the Dunham Family Foundation grants, along with an individual donation from Terrie Harman, give them a grand total of almost $30,000 toward this project. They are still hoping for $13,000 to help cover the cost of storage cases and the extra keyboards, which will allow for a full class set of 30. To donate to this project, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A special thank you to Principal Steve Adams, Superintendent Dr. Brenda Freeman, and Elementary PTO coordinator Becca Charles, for their assistance during this time and for believing in the power of keeping music education in our schools!