For children living in the Tampa Bay area, the Gasparilla Music Foundation is making a huge difference. Through a unique program called “Recycled Tunes”, instruments are donated to children who need them.
Students on the receiving end are members of the Pop Band associated with the Tampa Bay Boulevard Elementary School. Using the new instruments, these students devote daily time practicing after school.
Daniel Shea, the music teacher at the school is the brainchild behind the program. Recognizing that students have a genuine love and appreciation for listening to but also playing music, especially tunes they have never been exposed to before, she came up with an innovative solution.
The rewards enjoyed by the students, as well as Shea and other music teachers would not be possible without a long list of volunteers who selflessly offer time and effort. Of course, the Gasparilla program would not exist without people willing to donate music instruments.
As Shea explains, old instruments that have been sitting idle, quiet, and unused for years can be donated to students interested in learning to play. Ray Roa, one individual who works for the Gasparilla Music Foundation said that his team works together in getting instruments to students. Although the work is sometimes daunting, it is a worthwhile effort.
Since the program was first started, more than 100 instruments have been collected. Those instruments, along with 200 others, have been placed in schools located throughout the Tampa Bay area. For many students, the new instrument is all they have, their only friend and confidant. Watching a child go from isolation or dealing with low self-esteem to being someone with confidence and purpose is extraordinary.
Through the Gasparilla Music Foundation program, students have the chance to learn how to play an instrument but they are also given an opportunity to be a part of something great. Anyone interested in learning more about the foundation, volunteering time, or even donating can contact this non-profit organization by visiting www.gasparillamusic.com.
In addition to instruments being donated, people can enjoy the annual Gasparilla Music Festival. According to organizers, this festival was developed as a means of integrating music with the highly diverse communities of Tampa Bay. This event features live stage performances by local and national bands, petting zoo, yoga, and a variety of other events and activities that support local music and the arts for Tampa Bay students.