Local music organizations offer scholarships for music lessons to middle and high school students

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A girl plays guitar at Breckenridge Music’s Kid Fest on July 28, 2018.
Photo by Joe Kusumoto / Breckenridge Music

The National Repertory Orchestra and Breckenridge Music are offering private subsidized music lessons to middle and high school students through a new scholarship program, which aims to remove financial barriers for students and provide work for local musicians.

National Repertory Orchestra CEO Dave DePeters said the idea for the program came from music teachers in local schools.

“We went to them and said, ‘What can we do for you that will support your program, and how can we better serve you and the community through the music program? “And that’s what they asked us to do,” DePeters said.



According to a press release from both organizations, extracurricular music lessons will include piano, voice, guitar, violin, cello, flute, saxophone, trumpet, trombone and percussion for students already engaged in a music program. A committee of volunteers will review applications and award scholarships as needed. DePeters said the organizations would also work to ensure that students have access to the internet, technology and any other equipment they may need to participate.

“I really believe that music teaches all kinds of skills that are needed in life,” DePeters said. “You learn problem-solving skills. When you play with other children, you learn about teamwork. You learn all of these social and emotional skills. You learn about success, all of those things that will help you in your future endeavors. So we are convinced that by supporting this effort of the school children here to learn an instrument, we are in fact teaching them more than that instrument; we teach them life lessons.



Tamara Nuzzaci Park, executive director of Breckenridge Music, said that for the past 10 to 20 years, the organization has held a workshop or assemblies throughout the year at public schools in Summit Counties, Park and Lake to improve the music program. This year, school assemblies were not possible, which is why Nuzzaci Park said diving into the program makes sense.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for families to make music an important part of their daily lives,” said Nuzzaci Park. “And because music uplifts us, it relieves us, especially in this time of social isolation. We believe this is a way to improve life here in our community and give our children a sense of focus, achievement and discipline.

Music teacher Shane Werts, who will teach students on the program, said he originally came up with the idea in December of sponsoring music-conscious students who might not be able to fund their own lessons. . As a native of Summit County, Werts felt growing up that there weren’t as many opportunities for music in school as there might be.

“There aren’t a ton of music teachers in the area, and there are all of these amazing classical music opportunities between Aspen, Vail, and (National Repertory Orchestra),” Werts said. “Colorado has so much going on, but there isn’t a lot of connection to schools and kids can connect more to music that way. It’s a very athletic and athletic population here, which is great, but I think classical music has its own place.

Nuzzaci Park said the organizations’ secondary priority is to provide work for performing artists and musicians under the program, so they are partnering with local music teachers and other musicians interested in teaching. .

Nuzzaci Park said the Breckenridge Music and National Repertory Orchestra would gauge interest in the program and consider bringing it back year after year.

The program will run from March 8 to May 28, and interested students can apply until 5 p.m. on February 19. Applications are available on NROMusic.org and BreckMusic.org. Classes last from 30 minutes to an hour.


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