Butler County Times Gazette
  • Skelly Elementary to add guitar program

  • A musical opportunity
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  • Students at Skelly Elementary School will soon be learning a new musical instrument in their classes – the guitar.
    Skelly music teacher Wendy Goldsmith applied for and received a grant from USD 490s Partners In Education to offer guitar lessons to her students.
    “We talk a lot in class about different instruments and instrument families and guitar is one the students like to listen to,” Goldsmith said. “It is something they commonly hear in the music they like.”
    While the program will eventually be expanded to third, fourth and fifth graders, it will start with just fifth graders next year.
    Through the lessons, students will gain experience with reading pitches and rhythms on the staff and learn to play musically as opposed to simply “making noise.” They also will be asked to demonstrate appropriate behavior during classroom rehearsals and performances and will learn and practice the appropriate way to take care of an instrument.
    Goldsmith received $3,980 for the program. The cost includes 25 guitars, bags, tuners, picks, method books and training for Goldsmith this summer at Wichita State University on teaching guitar in a classroom setting.
    “I'm so excited the grant came through,” Goldsmith said. “I'm eager to get started.”
    The grant was made possible through a donation by K.T. Wiedemann Foundation. The Foundation was established in 1959 by Karl T. Wiedemann, a native El Doradoan. Wiedemann owned extensive interests in the oil and gas industry and ranching. He passed away in 1961 in an automobile accident, and his wife died in 1991. Wiedemann was known for his unfailing integrity, innate modesty and acts of philanthropy.
    Julie Clements can be reached at jclements@butlercountytimesgazette.com.

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