Drew’s Gift of Music – Lake District – Towne Post Network
The Local Instrument Program provides scholarships, lessons and instruments for students
Extracurricular activities are a part of school that almost all students enjoy. Unfortunately, some children can‘t participate for one reason or another. Jacob Keen, a student at Knox High School, was one such student. As much as he wanted to join the music program, his mother could‘cannot afford to buy or rent him an instrument. The group manager recognized in Keen a desire and willingness to learn and wanted to help. So Keen joined Drew‘s Musical instrument donation program.
Drew‘s Gift of Music is a nonprofit organization that provides scholarships, tuition, and musical instruments of all types (wind, brass, string, and percussion) to students. All instruments in the program are donated to the organization, then cleaned and repaired before being returned to the students.
Deb Johnson, the director, cast Drew‘s Gift less than a year after the death of his son, Drew Shearin, in a car accident at the age of 17 in 2012. It was a moment that changed Johnson‘his life forever.
“His laughter and warm smile, his wit and his willingness to give of himself made him a special person. He had a way of making everyone feel important and sharing his talents as well,” reads his bio on their website.
Shearin was a musical prodigy in her own right. While still in high school, he submitted original compositions to the Indiana Music Educators Association.‘s Composition Competition, winning first place in 2010 and 2012. He intended to pursue a musical education and career. Even though the world lost a musical genius when Shearin passed away, his love for music was kept alive thanks to his mother.‘efforts.
Currently, students in more than 30 school systems in Indiana and Michigan use this organization’s instruments.
“The conductor is the one who receives the instrument request form. [Students] must follow their school’s music curriculum,” says Johnson.
Johnson handles hundreds of student instrument requests each year. Every once in a while, one stands out. In 2013, Jacob Keen‘s was one of them. As soon as she heard about him, she knew which trumpet to attribute to him.
The horn – a horn of blessing by mark as well as metaphorically – was a new gift which in itself represents Drew’s mission‘gift.
“A Louisiana lady lost her son, Dylan, in a car accident six months after Drew died,” Johnson said. “When she found out about our story, she knew she was supposed to send Dylan‘s horn up to us. It is the horn that Jacob received.
For Keen, join Drew‘s Gift of Music changed my life.
“The beginning of my musical journey sparked my passion for music,” he says.
When he was given that first trumpet, he was in sixth grade.
Within a few years, he came out of the Horn of Blessings, at which point he was lent a middle horn, also through Drew.‘gift.
“At that time he said to me, ‘Should I return Dylan‘honk ? I have the impression, when I play this horn, that I‘I play for Dylan and Drew,” Johnson recalled. “I said, ‘Not if you‘I do not want. Keep the horn on as long as you need.
A few years later, Drew‘s Gift promoted him to a professional horn.
Last spring, Keen graduated from high school after spending seven years at Knox High School.‘music program. During this time, he not only proved his musical genius on several occasions, but he began to give back by helping the brass repairman with the instruments and by teaching less experienced musicians through the Music Recycled program, which Johnson hopes to expand to more schools in the near future. Thanks to two of the scholarships that Drew‘s Gift deals, Keen will go to music education at Valparaiso University.
Due to the connection Keen has with his first trumpet, he was allowed to keep it for the time being.
“As I gave him his scholarships, he asked, ‘Should I give Dylan‘s horn to someone? says Johnson. “I said, ‘Tell you what, you hang on until we find that student – and we will find it – who is willing to accept the gift of this horn. Then you and I will give it to them.
Drew‘s Gift is always looking for volunteers and instrument donations. To become a monthly Musical Note sponsor to help other students begin their musical journey, visit their website at drawsgiftofmusic.com.
Drew‘s Gift of Music is located at 1019 W. Jefferson St. in Plymouth. They are open from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday. To read their latest updates, visit Facebook.com/DrewsGiftOfMusic. Call the store to schedule an appointment to have your instrument repaired or to learn more about their programs at 574-936-4265.