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Local Youths Share Musical Talents at BGCL

June 07, 2016

At ages 12 and 14, respectively, Sabrina Lee of North Andover and Debbie Hsiao of Andover could be members of the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence. Instead, they are volunteering to teach the keyboard to other kids at the club who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to learn the instrument.

After Lee got the idea to volunteer, her mother Amy Ding posted a message on Facebook asking for donations. They ultimately received enough funds to purchase eight keyboards with stands, benches, headphones, and age-appropriate music books.

Since March, the girls have taught 45-minute lessons weekly to a group of eight students between 9 and 14 years old. In addition to teaching proper technique, Lee said they encourage the kids to experiment so they'll ultimately be inspired to create their own music.

"It's fun teaching younger kids and older kids. One time, I told them I could stay extra if they wanted to practice and they got so excited. It makes me feel really good to give them the opportunity to learn something new," said Lee, who has taken piano lessons since age 5. "Playing the piano helps me express my feelings sometimes. I hope they can enjoy playing it whenever they want and enjoy it throughout their lives, too."

Ding said she is pleased there is so much interest in the class among the club kids. An added bonus, she said, is all that her daughter is learning through the act of giving back.

"It's a great opportunity for the youth members, but also for Sabrina and Debbie to experience something new," Ding said. "Hopefully this can go on for a long time and help build more interest in music."

Stephanie Bryant, volunteer coordinator at BGCL, said there are as many volunteer opportunities as there are needs to be met. "People shouldn't underestimate their contribution, whatever they have to share," she said. "Giving your time and attention to children is such an important way to help your community. And it's fun."

To learn about volunteer opportunities at the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, contact Bryant at 978-683-2747, ext. 117 or sbryant@lawrencebgc.com. For more information, visit www.lawrencebgc.com.

 

Did You Know?

The Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence serves over 3,500 inner-city children every year.