clarinets-for-kids-15/29/12- Providence, RI- In the late spring of 2011, three La Salle Academy students, Lilia Trissler ‘12, Rachel Koller ‘13 and Mara Quinn ’13 created Clarinets for Kids, an after school program for Sophia Academy initially, and San Miguel in early 2012.

The program was designed to help teach a small group of students from each school how to play the clarinet and learn to have fun while doing it.

“We wanted these students to get a chance to experience music just as all three of us have in the past six or seven years,” said Lilia. “We don’t think that financial situations should ever keep someone from learning how to play an instrument and we would like to offer our help to any student who would like to learn.”

The three talked to the La Salle Alumni Committee as well as their private music teachers and La Salle Band Director, Brian Brouillard requesting their help and suggestions. The girls contacted both of the schools they sought to help and got the word out to the local newspapers and to La Salle students through homeroom announcements.

“We needed six clarinets and we received contributions from the Alumni Board,” said the three. “We planned to approach other students as well as local music businesses last summer. Our budget was $350 to $400 and we needed donations of music stands, donations of supplies, money, discounts on supplies/repairs and clarinets.”

“We all were committed to “Clarinets for Kids” because music and playing the clarinet has been such an important part of our lives,” said the girls. “We wanted to be able to share this gift with the other students who might not normally be able to experience this due to financial situations.”

“Clarinets for Kids has been a wonderful experience. Throughout this past year, working with the five students from the San Miguel School taught me so much about myself and what I can do for others. Every week, I really looked forward to working with the kids and sharing my passion with younger students,” said Lilia. “I liked seeing how the students progressed over the past nine months.”

“Recently, we just had our concert for the year, and although not every note and rhythm was perfect, I was really proud of the kids,” said the three musicians. “They got up there on stage and were wonderful. Not only were we proud of them, but they were proud of themselves as well.”

“We believe that this effort was very successful and the students told us that they really loved the program and cannot wait to do it again in the fall. Looking to next year, although I will be in college, I wish for the program to grow and continue. We are looking for more high school students to help us out so we can help the number of students increase over time. But most importantly, keeping Clarinets for Kids going in the future is the main goal for us,” concluded Lilia.

”Clarinets for Kids was started so the three of us could use our musical talent to help the community around us. It’s proven that students who study music are more successful both in the classroom and in life, than those who don’t study music,” said Rachel. “We wanted to bring this to students who normally wouldn’t have this type of opportunity due to financial or any other reasons. This program will enrich the lives of these students by giving them something to work for and a sense of accomplishment. The sense of accomplishment is important in young students because it gets them motivated to continue.”

”Clarinets for Kids was started so that we could enrich the lives of the participants through music,” said Mara.

Pictured from left – Mara Quinn ’13, Rachel Koller ’13, and Lilia Trissler ’12.