Music has always been part of my culture and I really enjoy collecting and building musical instruments.
For the past several years I have been going into the schools and teaching students from 3rd to 6th grades how to build a cigar box guitar. They build them, learn to play them, and they get to keep their guitars. I usually work with 25 to 35 students per class, and usually have three classes a day for one day a week for 10 weeks. When the project is finished in that school I go to another school and do the project there.
This program has been very successful and very popular with students, teachers and parents. At the end of the school year there is generally a presentation, attended by the parents, where the students show what they have learned by playing simple songs on their guitars. It is a very enjoyable and rewarding experience for all. The kids have worked hard, they have created something beautiful that is theirs to keep, and they have been rewarded with recognition. Parents sometimes see me in town. They invariably stop to tell me how their son or daughter treasures their guitar. It is very rewarding for me as well!
Since schools cut music and arts programs from their curriculum, this project is a must in order to keep some creativity in the realm of music. School funding for art and music programs is the first to suffer, and the need for producing a well rounded student requires these programs. This makes it more necessay to have a project, as the one I am presenting available to them.
I am seeking funding to be able to do this in the schools for free. With $10,000 I can help 100 students build their guitars. Most of the costs are the supplies (strings, tuners, fret wire, sound hole covers, neck wood, cigar box, etc.) I do all the cutting and drilling that needs to be done, so students won't risk getting hurt. They get to sand the neck, put together the neck and the box, install the tail piece which holds the strings, install the tuners, install the nut and bridge, and install the strings. Normally the cost for each instrument for each student runs around $120, but is worth around $300 when finished. The ideal would be to be able to do 5000 students with in New Mexico and southern Colorado.
Of course, it is not limited to those states only. The project can be done in Arizona, California, Texas, Utah, Kansas, or anywhere providing that there is enough funds for both the project and traveling and living expenses.
This project will help the young to be creative, will give them hands-on experience in building something, will give them a chance to learn a musical instrument, and hopefully will make them better persons to excel in the community.
These are some of the cigar box guitars I offer as rewards. Also a book Published by UNM Press which I wrote.
Risks and challenges
There are no risks or challenges in this project. When funding is granted all I need to do is seek out the school and offer the project to them. Schools are always looking for art/music projects for their students, and this project has been very successful in the past.
Once funding is available I go buy all the supplies, and start preparing the instrument for the students. Finding schools is no problem, especially if it is offered to them for free.
This project has to be done during the school year, since it takes at least 10 weeks to complete.
After a project is completed I take photographs of the students, and I will be posting updates of the project on my facebook page. In my web site there are several photos of school students where I have done this project, and was successful.
You can make a difference! All funding will go for this purpose of doing this project in as many schools as possible. If I had enough money available to help 5000 students, I would do it!!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)