Bedford Middle School musician collects used instruments for city kids
A Bedford Middle School student has launched a drive to collect used musical instruments for donation to a music program for inner-city students in Bridgeport.
Brody Braunstein, a seventh-grader, said the nonprofit KEYS Music program in Bridgeport has more students interested in instruction than it does instruments to go around.
The program has a pressing need for cellos, violins, violas and keyboards that are in good condition, Braunstein said, but he is collecting donations of any instruments except pianos.
His mother, Sara Dworken, said she and her husband will pick up instruments and deliver them to KEYS. Donations are being accepted through May 15.
KEYS works with Bridgeport schools to arrange private lessons by professional music teachers who volunteer during the school day, according to its website. The program offers instruction in piano, cello, violin, viola, alto sax, flute, trumpet, clarinet and classical guitar.
KEYS students perform in school recitals several times each year, according to the site, and an orchestra program and intensive workshops are available on Saturdays. The acronym KEYS stands for "Kids Empowered by Your Support."
Dworken said her son was looking for a bar mitzvah project that would have a lasting impact in an area about which he was passionate and would involve more than simply raising money for a cause.
In a news release he wrote, Braunstein said he has studied four instruments, both with private instructors and in school.
"I hope I am lucky enough someday to perform professionally. I know that none of this would have (been) possible and my dreams would never have the chance to become a reality if I was not exposed to early music education," he wrote.
Allowing that "some kids are not that lucky," his instrument drive aims to provide that early start to children from less-fortunate backgrounds.
To arrange pickup of instruments or for more information, email Sara Dworken at firstname.lastname@example.org.