Thanks to the generosity of the instructors and the Turnagain Community Arts Alliance (TCAA), we had the opportunity again this year for our students to attend voice lessons in the community. For the past two years the TCAA has put on a Cabaret to raise funds for our music and art programs.
Peggy Monaghan of Arctic Siren Production recruits instructors within the TCAA and has worked with our students for the past two years and offered not only a beginning class again, but also an advanced class for any of the students from last summer. At first, we thought we wouldn’t have any students in the advanced class, however we were mistaken. We actually had 5 students from last year’s class and a new student that had been in Honor Choir prior to joining us, who fit right in too. This was exciting for the returning students to have this opportunity to continue on with voice lessons. In addition, we had 8 residential girls start out the summer in the beginning voice lesson class. The students could often be heard singing in the units over the summer-making a joyful noise.
Some of the students had this to say about their experience with voice lessons:
“When I found out that we had an opportunity to go to voice lessons I was super excited. It gave me a chance to 1) get out a little 2) have some fun with my peers 3) SING. We got to record our voices and then got our own CD with our own names on it and my own voice!”
“I came into my first class of voice lessons a little late. At first it was difficult, but I got the hang of it and I really liked them. I would recommend it to others.”
“Voice lessons were fun, it was really cool to record and listen to my own voice! Thanks so much.”
“Thank you so much. Voice lessons with you were really fun.”
“It was good practice. We had fun. I mean I always love to sing.” This student was in the advanced class.
Peggy organized with another teacher from the community an opportunity to have piano lessons too. Kathleen Bielawski from Frozen Music Productions provided several of our students with beginning piano lessons. Two of the units had an electronic keyboard, so often times you would hear the students practicing their lessons in the units.
One of those students commented “During the first session of piano lessons I had a pretty easy time catching on. The lessons were very explanatory. I feel that all of the people going there got the individual attention they needed. I would recommend to others to go as well.”
(this student took both voice and piano lessons over the summer.)
Last summer we were also fortunate to have guitar lessons for 18 of our students. These classes were so popular that the original six week classes were expanded to eight, thanks to the flexibility of the Instructor Kevin Cassity and the TCAA.
The teachers work for 50% of their normal rate. They donate the balance in kind to Turnagain Community Arts Alliance. The TCAA raises funds to cover the cost of the teachers and any incidental production costs - cd's, books, etc. The TCAA is committed to the arts and arts education in Anchorage. When asked why the Turnagan Community Arts Alliance is so committed to helping our students Peggy said: “We know, first hand, how the arts can enrich and empower everyone, and especially kids who need to know that their voices matter in this world. There is only one you and you have only one voice. That brings with it both a right to use it and a responsibility to use it. No one else can use your voice. And once you believe in it, no one can take your voice from you.”
You can plan ahead and support the performing arts here at AK Child & Family by attending the Cabaret on April 8th 2016 to raise funds for the music and art programs for the upcoming summer