Next semester, Rebekah and her fellow band members will be offering private, one-on-one music lessons to the public. Open to students of all ages for a nominal fee of $10 per half hour lesson, interested musicians will be given the opportunity to play everything from the French horn to guitar. No experience is necessary, but students who sign up to take the lessons must provide the instrument.
"Anything they (music students) can imagine we can provide," said Rebekah, a junior this year at Liberty. "We're not professional teachers but we can teach them what they need to know about music and band … and we're a lot cheaper than most music instructors."
Rebekah, this year's mentoring coordinator, dreamed up the program as a way to provide ongoing fund-raising for the music department. Proceeds from the music lessons will be divided two ways: half will go into the Liberty Band's general fund to help offset classroom and program expenses, and the other half will go into the student instructor's personal account to support extracurricular band field trips and special events.
"This is really just another way to grow the band program," said Carrie Hurst, director of bands. "These are great kids; very motivated."
The music lesson venture is actually an offshoot of the department's already successful mentoring program - a year-old agenda that empowers high school band members to recruit students interested in band from elementary and middle schools. Participants gather at the high school and play together as a band. Students are also pulled aside during the practice sessions to receive individual instruction. At the end of the year they all participate in a pops-type performance.
What this new addition to the mentoring program brings to the band department is obvious, but what it also offers, says Rebekah, is an opportunity to encourage students to stay with band.
"We really feel that getting students early, especially in middle school, is critical," said Rebekah. "Eighth grade is that pivotal year where they decide if they are going to continue on with band when they get to high school. We want to show them that they can play sports or whatever, and still be in the band. This is a great way to do that."
For further information regarding lessons or other band-related activities, call 642-7482.