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Cleveland recreation centers offering free music lessons to children

Posted at 2:56 PM, Oct 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-14 18:07:05-04

CLEVELAND — Ward 9 Councilman Kevin Conwell called upon the community and his musician friends to donate funds and instruments earlier this year for his Play it Forward initiative. Conwell's goal was to bring music into children's lives, one instrument at a time.

Now, a year later, donated guitars, violins and trombones have started to pile up at The Center for Arts Inspired Learning.

“A lot of kids, especially in the central neighborhood of Cleveland and East Cleveland and other areas, their parents don’t have the funds to put them in a program like this," said Community Outreach Manager Christelle Saint-Fleur. “This is an outlet for kids to express themselves instead of being in the streets.”

In addition to the instruments, donated money will help pay for music instructors and instrument repairs.

The first drive took place Jan. 21 at Severance Hall.

“We collected $10,000 today in donations,” Conwell said.

Kids that are interested in learning to play an instrument can take lessons at the Glenville Recreation Center and the Cudell Recreation Center.

Trombone lessons are available at the Glenville Recreation Center on Fridays at 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. Trombone lessons will also be offered Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. The recreation center is located at 680 E 113th St. in Cleveland.

Guitar lessons are available at the Cudell Recreation Center on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Guitar lessons will also be offered on Saturdays at 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. The recreation center is located at 1910 West Blvd. in Cleveland.

For more information, call the Center for Arts Inspired Learning at 216-664-2241, or email

RELATED: Children learn more about music, one instrument at a time

This story is part of A Better Land, an ongoing series that investigates Northeast Ohio's deep-seated systemic problems. Additionally, it puts a spotlight on the community heroes fighting for positive change in Cleveland and throughout the region. If you have an idea for A Better Land story, tell us here.