The youth music group of the Fredericksburg Corps was instituted several years ago as an alternative activity for the economically-disadvantaged youth of the Fredericksburg area. There are a number of reasons for instituting the music group, but three are primary: first is the need to provide a safe place for pre-teens and teens to gather and to learn a new interest – giving them reasons to stay out of gangs and time away from troubled homes. Second, most of the youth have literally had no cultural or arts-related exposure in their lives; indeed, many of the participants have never dreamed of playing a cornet, or a French horn, tuba, guitar or keyboard. This program not only gives them this chance, but teaches them to play and trusts them with the instrument (they are allowed to take the instrument home, as each instrument’s serial number is recorded.) In essence, while learning a new skill, the youth is also learning about trust, character and teamwork.
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