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As music programs continue to struggle in local schools, a Lorain County church is stepping up to fill the gaps

Posted at 7:57 AM, Dec 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-24 07:57:48-05

LORAIN, Ohio — It takes years of hard work, dedication and the right notes coming together to be able to play music flawlessly. Pastor Marilyn Parker-Jeffries of New Creation Baptist Church in Lorain says it was the community that came together for its kids in need to create a unique music program.

“Because of financial reasons, our local schools did not have an elementary music program at all,” she said.

Parker-Jeffries knew she had to do something.

“Our church is located in an at-risk community in the city of Lorain.”

And that’s why the Great Expectations Music Program was born.

“This program has just been a beneficiary of grace in the community,” she said.

Grace came in the form of grants from several community groups, including the Lorain County Prosecutor’s Office. The office gave the program thousands of dollars that it received from confiscating drugs.

The program includes kids of all ages learning how to play the piano and drums for free.

“Music makes my heart feel a different type of way than sports,” said 10-year-old Jamir Hall.

Zaire Darden and Daniel Spearman volunteer their time to teach the kids.

"It's really great to see them grow and develop and really learn the different parts of the song and the music,” said Spearman.

Darden says music saved his life, and he wants to provide the students the same outlet that he had growing up.

“Just to provide an opportunity for them to learn a different thing that could help them in their future if they really work towards it,” said Darden.

15-year-old Marcel Emanuel lives for music, but says you have to stay dedicated.

“If you’re going to join this, you have to stay with it,” he said.

For Yario Rosario, a 15-year-old bilingual student, it’s another way to communicate and get out his frustrations.

“When I’m stressed, and I play the drums, all my stress goes off,” said Rosario.

Parker-Jeffries says the kids learn more than just music.

“You can see the self-esteem increase by the time they hit the end of this program year and they’re able to sit down and perform before an audience,” she said. “It just does something for the children.”

The program has 10 kids in it now but is looking to expand next year.

If you’d like to donate to the program you can at New Creation Baptist Church at 1929 West 23rd Street, Lorain.