The Joy of Music
For the children of many McHenry County families the cost of a guitar and guitar lessons is something that is out of reach. Free Guitars for Future Stars (FG4FS) founder, Scott Neumann, feels that every child should have the opportunity to experience the joy of making music. For nine years, FG4FS has been providing guitars and guitar lessons to children from lower-income families, working with between 75 to 100 students annually.
“Our program is not always about a ‘free guitar,’” Neumann explains, “The guitar is just the tool we use to reach these kids.”
Music is a skill that children can continue with for a lifetime, he said, adding, “It is a powerful tool to help people get through everyday life. They say learning an instrument is like a total workout of the brain because it uses so many different parts. Playing an instrument is very empowering, helping to build confidence and self-esteem. Playing music in a group setting builds teamwork, leadership and learning skills. These skills are then easily transferred to other aspects of life. Although we have seen some good guitar players come out of the FG4FS, what we really like to see are well-rounded young adults.
Everything needed for the program is provided. Lessons are given in a weekly, in one hour group lessons throughout several McHenry County communities. This fall, programs will run in Crystal Lake, Harvard, Marengo, McHenry and Woodstock. The program typically runs through the school year, featuring a Christmas concert and another concert at graduation.
Graduates of the basic program may then apply for continued lessons. Students interested in joining our basic program should apply at fg4fs.org (click the “Contact” button) or call Scott at 815-975-7989 to request a mailed application.