Inglewood USD reintroduces music education with a camp

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INGLEWOOD, Calif .– It’s a big day for a little boy, as 8-year-old Anthony Hill prepares to play the violin in front of a crowd for the first time.

“I feel a little nervous but not that nervous,” he said. “I just need to pluck a few strings, and I should be ready.”


What would you like to know

  • The Musicians At Play Foundation has created a first-ever summer music camp in Inglewood in partnership with Inglewood Unified School District and the Teachers Association
  • The Inglewood program has 40 students in Grades 2-10 enrolled in July
  • The foundation has partnered with a local music store, Bertrand’s, to supply instruments such as violins, cellos and saxophones
  • Studies show there has been an 86% nationwide drop in music education for people of color in the public school system

Anthony said he had always loved music and even learned to play the ukulele.

“I feel excited when I listen to music,” he said. “I feel like I can express myself in my own way.”

So when his mother, Krystal Hill, enrolled him in the Inglewood Unified School District’s very first summer camp, she was surprised at how quickly he took to the violin.

“I never would have thought of giving my son a violin,” she said. “But for someone to give him the opportunity to learn music and give him different options that allow him to think about what he wants to explore on his own. I think it’s a powerful tool for our students. ”

In less than a month, Anthony and 37 other elementary and secondary students learned to read music and play a new instrument, thanks to the association Musicians At Play.

The foundation has partnered with a local music store, Bertrand’s, to provide instruments such as the violin, cello and saxophone for Inglewood students to use during in-person lessons and to practice at home.

Before handing in their instruments, the students showcased their skills in a recital for family and teachers.

John Acosta, the program director, has been in the music industry since the age of 17. He went from a recording contract as a singer and songwriter to being president of the LA Musicians Union.

Now, his mission is to change the lack of diversity in recording studios and symphonies by providing tuition-free music education to communities in need, such as South LA.

“One of the things that really excites us about MAP is building this career path so that these students don’t just build a foundation to be better students academically,” Acosta said. “If they really want to pursue a career in music, we can be that catalyst.”

Studies show that there has been an 86% nationwide drop in music education for people of color in the public school system.

The school district is using this band camp as a pilot project to become a permanent year-round program, and Anthony said he would love that.

He said learning a new instrument has taught him responsibility, teamwork and most of all, he has “learned that I have enough confidence in what I do”.


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