Menu Close

John Gregg Scores Grant for Keyboard Kits

John Gregg Elementary students are playing a new tune after the school received nearly $1,500 for its music program.

    Music teacher Kathy Ramsey received a $1,480.25 allocation from the Bergholz Community Foundation to purchase four keyboard kits complete with instruments, stands, benches, pedals and headphones and her goal is to expand offerings for students to learn. She works with 380 pupils in preschool to sixth grade and plans to give all of her pupils and opportunity to hone their talents.

   “I have four keyboard stations,” she said. “I have time where kids come in and utilize the music room on different grade levels. We have used it for ukulele, boomwhackers, flute-o-phones and they wrote lyrics and music notes.  I would like to put in the music stations and do them once or twice a month as a fun day to learn something.”

   She received the grant in early February and acquired the kits shortly thereafter, and her pupils have already begun to practice. She has three groups featuring four to five students and two more groups are being added. For now, students in grades 3-6 have used the kits but she hopes to include lower grades in the future. Ramsey said she wants to establish different stations in her room so kids have an opportunity to learn how to play a variety of instruments. They may even practice for a few minutes after they arrive at school before they start classes.

   “My hopes are to get rotating stations and to divide the class into groups to put into the stations. They need a good musical foundation to rotate into the different stations.”

   Ramsey, who also has taught piano, said it was beneficial because once students learned to read notes for the piano or keyboard they could learn to play other instruments more quickly.

  “The kids are excited about having the keyboards. I have one student whose had piano lessons with me, so she is ahead of the others. The kids can work at their own pace. They can work individually, listen to the music in the headphones and not bother anybody else.”

    She said she first reached out to students who were not involved in band or chorus activities in order to gain interest.

    Third-grader Talon Glover is one of her pupils and said he has found a new appreciation for the artform after having several lessons.

    “It’s something I think I’m really going to like,” Glover said.

   “We’re excited,” Ramsey commented. “This is something you invest in for the kids’ future, and music is not always on the top of the list. This is one way to incorporate it.”