ANGOON, Alaska (AP) - It’s been a while since kids in Angoon have had regular music classes, but Salvation Army Major Cathy Quinn is volunteering in the schools to try and fix that.
She got a donation of 10 recorders - an accessible flute-like instrument on which to first teach children how to read and play music - and knew she could find a use for them in the classroom.
“I knew that music was a component that was missing … at the time,” she said. “I always try to find something that’s not being done, to fill in the gaps, rather than duplicate something that’s already being done. The school system was very generous in allowing me to come in.”
“We haven’t had any music classes for a long time,” said Principal Jim Parkin.
Quinn and her husband, Major John Quinn have been posted in Jackson, Tennessee, Kodiak, and Memphis with the Salvation Army. In Memphis, they provided day care for low-income families.
“It just depends on the community and my abilities - our abilities,” she said.
Quinn plays the piano and the guitar.
She’s started with Mary Jean Duncan’s class of fourth through sixth graders. Once a week, kids return from PE to find their recorders on their desks. The week the Capital City Weekly was in town, some immediately began to play the basic tune to “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”
Quinn quizzed them with flash cards (and chocolates used very effectively as prizes) about which notes were what, and then got them to play those notes on the recorder.
“What’s a sharp sign?” she asked.
“That’s the hash tag,” a student replied. Then they all played an F-sharp.
Quinn is also planning on starting a music class at Angoon High School, using a computer program
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