2018-02-07 / School News

Grants supply intermediate school with new instruments

by Kate Evans


Intermediate school fourth graders Alaina Stevens & Madison Archambeau enjoy ukuleles from the BlackCat Music Cooperative at an assembly. photo by Amber Light Intermediate school fourth graders Alaina Stevens & Madison Archambeau enjoy ukuleles from the BlackCat Music Cooperative at an assembly. photo by Amber Light Students at Warm Springs Intermediate School are making music on new instruments including ukuleles, xylophones and drums that were funded through several different grants.

Kathy Seager’s fourth grade music classes received 28 ukuleles through a $1,200 Families Leading Change grant received by the Black- Cat Music Cooperative, said cooperative director Janet Gauthier. The ukuleles were delivered to the school on January 12 at an assembly. Seager has five fourth grade music classes and 118 students that can use the new ukuleles.

The grant also paid for a workshop which Tri-State Ukecletics Orchestra leader and instructor Mike Kligerman taught, along with tuners for the ukuleles. Kligerman taught teachers the basics of playing the ukulele along with some techniques to engage the kids with the instrument.


Warm Springs Intermediate School students Gavin Young and Adrian Feliciano have fun playing xylophones in class with music teacher Kathy Seager. Seager received a $4,800 Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation grant for the xylophones, drums and other Orff-Schulwerk resources for her music classes. photo by Kathy Seager Warm Springs Intermediate School students Gavin Young and Adrian Feliciano have fun playing xylophones in class with music teacher Kathy Seager. Seager received a $4,800 Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation grant for the xylophones, drums and other Orff-Schulwerk resources for her music classes. photo by Kathy Seager A Tom and Virginia Seely Foundation grant also aided the purchase of the instruments.

Gauthier said they were very excited to finally get the ukuleles into the kids’ hands.

Seager said that the ukuleles are a big hit and that she’s grateful that the local music shop has created a non-profit to bring music to children. Gauthier is co-owner of BlackCat Music Shop with her son Adam Kary.

Seager’s music grant

Seager received a $4,800 Eastern Panhandle Community Foundation Youth Grant to buy xylophones, drums and other Orff-Schulwerk resources for her classes.

Students use instruments that are simple to play, primarily drums and barred instruments such as xylophones, along with a steady rhythm pattern, which introduces simple rhythm and harmonic structure in an ensemble, Seager said. The xylophones are designed so that the pitched bars that aren’t being used can be taken off.

“With these techniques all children gain the benefits of active and creative music making. This method is especially useful in schools where students have had little or no exposure to musicmaking,” she said.

“We could have never been able to purchase such valuable instruments,” Seager said of the grant.

Seager noted that she is a hands-on music teacher.

“Handing out worksheets and trying to explain to a class of young children the musical concepts behind little black dots on lines and spaces is not practical,” she said. “A joyous musical experience can lead to a lifetime of creating music.”

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