A very special end-of-year concert was held at Grand Bend Public School in June. It featured guitar, bass and ukulele players, drummers, and singers, all making beautiful music together on stage. “It’s really fun,” says music instructor Jimmy Fuller. “People are dazzled by what the kids can do.”
Several years ago, Grand Bend Community Foundation purchased rock band instruments for the school. After an initial burst of enthusiasm, the program dwindled. Then three years ago the program was reignited, with financial support from the Foundation.
Three times a week, up to 30 students choose to spend one of their daily breaks rehearsing and practicing. “It doesn’t cost the school or the parents anything,” says Fuller. “The program gives an opportunity for kids who couldn’t or wouldn’t take private lessons. It also encourages kids who want to go further to get into private lessons.” Students who are already proficient with their instruments mentor those who are just getting started.
Fuller, who has been giving music lessons since 1979, says the program is especially important for students who lack confidence or struggle to fit in. “It gives them something to feel part of and puts such a positive vibe through the school – it’s priceless.”
He adds, “I love every minute of it.”