Church reaches out to the community with free music lessons

By Kofi Ayim

Community outreach has been a staple of the First Presbyterian Church of Irvington, New Jersey for the past several years. For the multicultural, multi-ethnic church most activities start on Friday evenings and climax with Sunday midday worship. Saturday afternoons are usually the busiest with preparations towards church service the following day.

The Ekhator School of Music is one of several arms of the church that meets Saturday for a two-hour intensive class. Other Church groups are the Chancel Choir (the main Church Choir), Centennial Band (singing Band), and  the Angelic Choir (Youth Choir).

Established thirteen years ago by Mr. Harrison Ekhator, the Church’s Director of Music with about eight students from within the church, the School now has about one hundred students from sixteen different churches and the neighborhood. It has six instructors. There have thus far been thirteen piano recitals. According to Mr. Ekhator, he founded the School of Music as his contribution to the Church. He said he hoped some of his students would grow up to be world renowned musicians.

On a typical Saturday, four classes are held for beginners aged five to seven; Intermediates from seven to 10, seniors above 10 and adult “beginners”. Students are taught the theory and art of music as well as hands on practice on piano. Classes are free but regimental discipline is a requirement. French leaves and unexcused absenteeism are potential grounds for dismissal. Parents of students are as involved as the students in the program with structured meetings with program administrators.

According to parents with children in the program, not only is it important for their children to utilize weekends expeditiously, but music itself has a unique way of developing and nurturing some mental faculties of the brain for creativity and skills. The parents expressed sincere gratefulness to the Church for establishing this extra curriculum at no cost to their children.

The First Presbyterian Church of Irvington currently has two Pastors, Rev. Dr. E. Obiri Addo, and Rev. Dr. Moses Biney.

Posted by on Apr 12 2013. Filed under top stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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