HUNTINGTON — Free music and dance classes through the Salvation Army will begin Oct. 12 for children ages 3-12 with the hope of providing new opportunities at no cost.
The fine arts program will focus on teaching children the basics of music and dance and will take place from 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesdays at the Fellowship Hall at 1227 3rd Ave., said corps mission associate Jaclyn Johnson.
“There’s so many kids that want to be involved and want to do activities, but they can’t afford it,” Johnson said. “So, I think offering these programs to them is such a huge benefit not only to the community but to them to learn, have fun and have a great time. I think that’s really important and our community needs more programs like that.”
Johnson said she has background in dance and will be teaching basics for jazz, hip hop, ballet and lyrical genres. The Salvation Army Huntington location Capt. Elizabeth Blusiewics has a musical background and will be teaching music fundamentals.
The goal, Johnson said, is to have classes every Tuesday through the school year and have students participate at local events, starting with the Salvation Army’s trunk-or-treat night set for 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28.
Following the Halloween performance, Johnson said the students will hopefully go on to participate in other holiday events such as mall performances or Salvation Army fundraising events.
“The skill level is starting from ground zero and working its way up in both dance and music, so I think any age could be able to do it and participate in some of the events we have planned,” Johnson said.
Blusiewicz said she is excited to get started with the classes and hopes those who may struggle to afford private lessons take advantage of the opportunity.
“Some of our families, they can’t afford some of these instruments and they can’t afford to go to private dance classes so for us to provide that, I’m really excited to hopefully discover some talent that we may have never know was here,” she said. “I think the most important thing with the program is giving kids that are in difficult financial situations opportunities to be in music and art and providing them with those introductory resources so then hopefully see them use it as part of their school curriculum.”
While Blusiewicz will begin by teaching rhythm and note recognition, she eventually plans to teach students how to play instruments, starting with the trumpet, Johnson said.
The Salvation Army received a donation of trumpets from the Mount Union Methodist Church in Milton years ago, and students will be able to use the instruments at no charge, she said.
Those interested in signing up for the classes can find information on the Salvation Army’s Facebook page or can sign up in person on Oct. 12. Johnson said she will be available one hour before the first class starts to register interested individuals and answer questions.