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Music to their ears

Spalding Primary gets band instruments at last

BY ALICIA SUTHERLAND Observer staff reporter sutherlanda@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, October 08, 2012    

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SPALDING, Clarendon — Nine hundred students at the Spalding Primary School in North West Clarendon will now be able to enjoy structured music classes after being forced to to use improvised instruments for years.

The school recently received a full range of musical instruments including drums, recorders, tambourines, guitars, rhythm sticks, cymbals, microphones and a public address system, courtesy of private donations of over $350,000 that was channelled through Member of Parliament Richard Azan.

Imogene McKenzie, Acting Principal at Spalding Primary told Observer Central that the donation will open new creative avenues for the music-starved children.

"We have been trying for at least two years to get equipment. We have been teaching music with improvised instruments with the regular classroom teacher. With a band now, we will need a [music] teacher. I am going to write to the Ministry of Education for (one)," she said.

Since becoming Member of Parliament last year, Azan has made three similar donations to Knox High School, Knox Junior School and Spalding High. He said he hopes to add two other primary schools to the list before the end of the year.

Azan, who is a past student of Spalding Primary said that music, like sports, has the capacity to bring people together. As such, he said he would like to see strong cultural involvement particularly among the primary schools in the constituency which would see students playing instruments at graduations and other school functions.

"If you can't play the drum, play the tambourine. Students, I want all of you to get involved. If we go that route we will have a good school," he said recently at the handing over ceremony, and urged the school and the wider community to take care of the gifts.

"I don't want anyone to break into the school and steal them. I don't want to be coming back to replace anything because there are 20-odd schools in North West Clarendon," said Azan.

Grade six student Jordine Meek, expressing thanks on behalf of the school, assured the North West Clarendon Member of Parliament that his generosity would not be in vain.

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