Four month old Shayna can't carry a tune, but she enjoys musical sounds. She's Shirley Watterston's third grandchild in 25 years to attend Kindermusik. This makes the Music Prep founder proud. "Oh, yes! I've seen so many children go through the program, but to have your own in it is great. The statistics have shown that giving them rhythmic action from a very young age develops rhythm within them," commented Watterston.
The tuition supported Music Prep Program benefits teenagers and adults too. Piano teacher Mary Cooper and other music prep teachers have students from all over East Texas. "In fact some students who have traveled from Joaquin like for 13 years. We have kids coming in from Lufkin, Longview, Tyler," said Cooper.
And all the students learn to be disciplined, focused and goal oriented. Leah Awan, 17, began her studies in kindergarten. She's taken choir and harp lessons. Currently she's enrolled in violin and piano. "Music Prep betters their community. It helps kids just stay out of trouble. They can come here and they have something to do," said Awan. Her 15 year old brother Fashad Awan pointed out that the community benefits too with lots of great entertainment. "Most of the prep orchestra and prep recitals are free to come to, so the public is welcome."
The public is also invited to a silver anniversary scholarship fundraiser on September 10th, so everyone can enjoy the gift of music. Music Prep Director Pat Barnett said, "We're going to do a takeoff on Garrison Keillor's 'A Prairie Home Companion' and it's going to be called 'Pineywoods Home Companion'.
Soap opera star Brad Maule, Hollywood composer and lyricist John Dickson, and stand-up comedian Amy Key headline the evening's entertainment.
The festivities include a wine and cheese party with the celebrities, barbque and a variety show featuring lots of entertainment.