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Piano lessons key to growing a brighter future

Posted at 11:43 PM, Aug 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-09 23:43:01-04

For 15 years, "Piano For Youth” has been guiding children interested in learning how to play.

The students come from all different neighborhoods, but inside a room at School 33 Art Center in Federal Hill, the noise of the outside world is silenced.

"Having that outlet where they can just be with themselves and have the world just kind of be outside for a minute," Diana Sennaar the Co-Founder of the organization.

Living in some parts the city with drugs and crime it's easy to fall into the wrong crowd and do the wrong things.

The rhythm helps to keep 15-year-old Woodlawn High School Freshman Tavon Mitchell Jr. on track.

"If you get angry with someone or something you can just go play piano. It's like another way for you to talk,” said Mitchell. “If you play it with feeling then it's like you expressing your words in a different way."

For 17-year-old Jamarii Tyson the stress of school and home is muted by the sound of the keys.

"I have a lot of siblings and so the piano is just something that can take me away from that,” Tyson said. “It's just something I feel confident in because it helps me focus."

It's not all Beethovan and Mozart.  Calvert Hall freshman Nathan Epps is inspired by Pharral.

When he’s at the two week Piano for Youth Music and Math camp he can explore his own creations.

"I'm a producer as well so like the piano is the main instrument you use in some of the tracks you play in beat making and producing,” Epps said.

The camp runs as long as a normal school day and teaches math concepts in connection to music.

Kyle Marshall said that learning the piano has helped him excel in other classes.

"You have to use your brain to coordinate your hands and movements,” Marshall said.   “I've seen it help because I do well in school."

At the camp Sennaar gets to see the students grow as students and people.

"Music is life. It's breathing. You have to breath when you're counting when you're playing. This music helps you do that."

At the end of the program the group has a recital, and the instructors continue at home lessons.

The recital will be Friday August 17th at School 33 in Federal Hill.