Last year, Salemwood School Music Teacher Mr. Brian Sheehan’s students determined that one way to make the music program more appealing and exciting to students would be to incorporate rock music into the curriculum. One of the students noticed a billboard for the Ernie Boch Jr. “Music Drives Us” Foundation Grants and brought it to Mr. Sheehan’s attention as an opportunity to purchase some new rock band instruments for the classroom. So with the assistance of his students, Mr. Sheehan applied for the grant from the Music Drives Us Foundation for the purchase of new equipment and instruments. The students were thrilled to learn they were selected to receive a very generous award from the Foundation and with the proceeds they purchased two electric guitars, one bass guitar, an electronic drum set, and keyboard, along with speakers, amplifiers, microphones, stands and other equipment.
Foundation Founder Ernie Boch, Jr. visited the school last week to observe how the students are benefiting from the new instruments. The students played Pachelbel’s Canon in D and Bruno Mars’ Just the Way You Are for Mr. Boch, Mayor Gary Christenson, Superintendent John Oteri, Principal Rebecca Gordan, and invited guests. As grant recipients, the students will now “pay it forward” by taking what they’ve learned in class and offer free music lessons to family and friends as well as make instructional videos to put on YouTube so that anyone can learn.
Created by musician and entrepreneur Ernie Boch, Jr., the Music Drives Us Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3), New England nonprofit organization supplying grants to music programs designed to effect positive change for people of all ages. They seek out organizations and individuals interested in using music as a tool to better the lives of people in all segments of society.
Released by the Office of Mayor Gary Christenson
Photos by City of Malden