The music program at Labrador Straits Academy (LSA) is getting a big boost with help from the International Grenfell Association (IGA).
The school, located in L’Anse au Loup, recently received a $10,000 grant from the IGA for music equipment.
With these funds, it was able to purchase a Roland LX7 electric piano, two Roland synthesizers and five Roland keyboards, with accompanying stands and stools.
The school received the final pieces of equipment in April.
Music teacher Adele Buckle told The Northern Pen the school was “elated.”
Buckle, who teaches music from kindergarten to Grade 12, believed the new instruments would go a long way toward improving the music program at the school.
Simply having access to a greater supply of instruments means Buckle now has enough to teach a full class.
Students will no longer have to switchover and take turns.
The five keyboards come in addition to six previously owned by the school.
“I didn’t have enough that I could teach a full class,” she said. “Now I can put the kids up there on the keyboard, they can plug in their headphones and they can go to it. Before they were taking turns and could only play half the class and the other half of the class was downtime.”
LSA never had any synthesizers until now and its old piano needed to be replaced.
Buckle said having a piano is important for public performances and school concerts.
Taylor Groves, a Grade 12 student from Forteau, felt having new instruments would give students like herself the opportunity to improve as musicians.
“Now that I can come to school and practise on a full-size piano, I can excel a lot easier musically,” she told The Northern Pen. “And where it’s an electric piano, there are so many different functions on there. It’s just really cool to see what the limits are.”
Groves was excited about the potential opportunities.
“We’re pumped,” she said.
She felt younger students were already taking more of an interest in music as well.
“The young kids – junior high and elementary students – are really interested in the piano,” she said. “It’s interesting to see all the younger ones a lot more interested in what I’ll be playing sometimes. It gets them more involved.”
According to Buckle, the instruments present new creative and teaching opportunities.
Students can record sounds and use them as sound effects on the keyboards.
“It ties into language arts and social studies, then,” she said. “You can do so much across the curriculum teaching with the keyboard. It’s amazing.”
It can also help students with their playing.
“One of my students has trouble playing left hand and right hand together,” Buckle explained. “So, she recorded the left hand and then played with the right hand, while the left hand was playing for her.”
Buckle was grateful for the funding and she wished to thank the IGA for its backing.
“They’ve been really supportive,” she said.