DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – A steady hum of musical scales and beginner songs worked on in earnest in a crowded room fill the air. The backdrop for a program bringing the art of music into the lives of children who may not have access in school.

“We can’t let this slide,” says guest instructor Michelle May about the music program and about teaching violin in particular. “It effects math skills, reading skills – making you aware of your world, your culture.”

She says the skills a musician learn effect other important areas of learning:

“Music and the arts — cut from the school system, that arts part of education is so very, very important, it affects everything we do,” says May. “I can remember growing up with choir and orchestra — it had a profound affect on me.”

May says while schools were cutting programs in the arts — independent programs like Detroit Youth Volume were created to fill a part of the gap.

Clara Hardie leading group lesson at DYV. (Credit/Pat Sweeting)

Clara Hardie, executive director and founder of Detroit Youth Volume, teaches students violin and has been instrumental in bringing the language of music to children in households with a mixed-range income in Detroit.

There are group lessons and weekly private lessons – based on the Suzuki method– open to all; if a family can afford lessons, they pay, if they need scholarship to learn the violin that is made accessible.

Tuition is on a sliding scale. There are approximately 30 students in the program to date. Fundraising is ongoing — the goal is $55,000, which will be matched by funding if that goal is reached by October — they are about half-way to their goal.

DYV will accept donated instruments along with monetary donations. You can find more information and ways to support the program HERE.


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