With more kids signing up for the second year of Sistema Winnipeg's music education program, more instruments are required to meet the growing demand.
To help get violins and cellos into the hands of those students, the organization has launched an instrument donation drive.
Sistema, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra initiative, is a free, after school program that brings music education to children who otherwise may not get the opportunity.
The program started last year at Elwick School in the Seven Oaks School Division but has expanded to include King Edward Community School on Selkirk Avenue as well.
Before starting on real instruments, children in the Sistema program learn to play on paper and styrofoam ones. "The whole idea is not just respect for the instrument in general, but also teaching them where to put their fingers to create the scale," says teacher Heidi Poetker. "I have noticed that it makes a huge difference."
Her husband Phil Poetker is a product designer who has been helping with the construction of the instruments. "The kids have the pleasure of being able to decorate them and take ownership of them," he says. So they are all painted different colours, then decorated with splash paint, stickers, flowers and gems.
The innovative music education program was started in the slums of Venezuela and has now spread all over the world. The Sistema instrument drive runs until April 21. If you have an instrument in playable condition, it can be dropped off at two locations, the WSO Box Office, 555 Main Street and at CBC, 541 Portage Avenue.