A community project at a local school is bringing generations together and teaching them new skills as they build their own instruments.
“They do incredible work. Some have never done woodworking before” said Richard Graves, the wood shop teacher supervising the crafting of the instruments.
This activity is the second part of a three-phase project that was started last May, called Walk Right In. The goal of this project was to teach people how to play instruments that they’ve never tried before, such as the jug. The participants then formed Jug Bands that have played at several community venues. The second phase of this project allows students of Pass/Woodwinds Secondary, and local senior residents to build their own instruments from kits.
The kits were purchased by a grant from the New Horizons for Seniors, a sector of Human Resources Skills Development Canada (HRSDC). The grant was given to the Arrowsmith Agricultural Association (AAA) which is the keeper of the Walk Right In project. Members of community Jug Bands are supervising the instrument building, as is Graves.
“I really love working with students and he [Graves] is a fabulous wood shop teacher” said Avril Smith, a senior who is building her own mandolin.
When the seniors and the students complete their instruments, they will receive instruction on how to play them from Gerry Barnum, the instructor of the “Jugmentals”, a jug band formed as a result of phase one of the Walk Right In project. When phase two is over, the newly created instruments will most likely be donated to Pass/Woodwinds for future use.