Committed to Education
Violins For Kids
In the fall of 2009 retired symphony conductor, Hal Weller, and retired inner-city school principal, Arturo Ochoa, saw the need and launched the “Violins for Kids” project to offer low-cost music instruction to youngsters in underserved neighborhoods in Las Vegas. The program has grown from 15 to 200 students from 51 elementary schools currently enrolled in three community center locations. FAYM has exciting plans for further expansion.
As an affiliate of the worldwide El Sistema movement, FAYM’s “Violins for Kids” project, provides youngsters with instruments, materials, two to three lessons a week, a week-long music camp experience in June, and special musical field trips at just $25 per month tuition. Parents are urged to attend lessons with their child which forms a strong common family bond. The year-long program is coordinated by Timothy Thomas and staffed by instructors Candace Chun, Chris Bonds, Marla Huizar, Jovonie Tejero, Kimberly Johnson, Carleen San-Filippo, Erika Syroid, David Shepard, Brigido Galvan, and Azaria Carruthers. Renowned Luthier, Juan Soto, volunteers his expertise to keep all of FAYM’s string instruments in top condition and retired school principal & “Violins for Kids” co-founder, Arturo Ochoa, serves as FAYM’s Past Board President.
The “Violins for Kids” project has won recognition from the Clark County School District’s Partnership Program, the Clark County Board of Supervisors, and such celebrities as singer, Josh Groban, world-famous solo bassist Gary Karr, Teller (of Penn & Teller), and Jamie Bernstein, daughter of renowned conductor/composer Leonard Bernstein.