Arts & Entertainment: Help get musical instruments into students’ hands

// Louie G.’s Pizza to host benefit for Ted Brown Music Outreach

Ted Brown Music is a business that walks the talk when it comes to being all about music. Rather than being driven by pure profit, Ted Brown reaches out to help students explore the world of music, which in turn helps improve the lives of young learners academically and personally. Case in point: Ted Brown’s non-profit Outreach Program. The Outreach Program provides instruments to kids who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford them, and supports programs such as Teddie Bear Music for children 0-6, Instrument Exploration Camps for kids who want to be in their school band but aren’t sure which instrument to play, and the very popular Live It Out Loud Rock Music Camp for 12-18 year olds to experience what it’s like to be in a real band one day.

The Outreach Program mission statement is this: “We believe music enhances the quality of life by improving learning abilities, relieving stress and providing a chance to change lives. Our purpose is to put instruments in the hands of young musicians while supporting their musical activities and programs.”

On Saturday, March 29, a benefit fundraiser for Ted Brown’s Outreach Program will be held at Louie G.’s Pizza in Fife, 5-11 p.m. A $10 admission fee gets you an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner (and Louie G. definitely knows his Italian cuisine) and the chance to experience four hot and local bands play live: Stolen Society (2013 Live It Out Loud winner), Fistful of Dollars (2012 Live It Out Loud winner), Nolan Garrett Band and Sweet Kiss Momma. Music starts at 7 p.m.

There will be raffles and a silent auction for prizes like gift cards, a set of Shure headphones, a year-long membership to the Children’s Museum, a package with four tickets to a Hard Rock show with gift certificates for dinner and baskets such as an Aveda spa package, movie night and products from The Pampered Chef. A live auction will include an original painting by Stacia Weber, who is well known for her skill at live painting. She’ll be at the benefit with easel and brushes in hand, ready to let the atmosphere guide her to paint as she visits with people. New and used instrument donations will also be accepted throughout the evening.

For those wishing to attend as a family or group, VIP tables are available. The $500 VIP table offers six tickets, the spaghetti feed, a wine selection, SWAG, company/organization logo on printed materials and a waitperson from 5-8 p.m. At the $1,000 level your table can order off the menu of Louie G.s five-star cuisine.

Susan Renville is an Outreach Program board member and organizer of the benefit. She said the proceeds will help the program continue to flourish and, most importantly, help young people get introduced to playing music which, in turn, has been found to increase children’s proficiency in mathematics, listening, teamwork and many other valuable skills.

“We have people that come in (to Ted Brown Music) and want to rent an instrument but they don’t qualify and can’t afford it so we immediately give them an application to get an instrument,” she said, adding that the look of relief and joy on parents’ faces is something she never tires of. “Some of the people just want their kid to be in (the school band) so much and they’re so devastated that they don’t qualify for renting an instrument, but we have the Outreach Program for them. It’s nice to see the parents and kids faces when they realize that – it’s fantastic.”

To learn more about the Ted Brown Music Outreach Program, visit http://www.tbmoutreach.com and go to http://wp.tedbrownmusic.com/eventsgigs/tbmoutreachbenefit-2/ for more on the March 29 benefit at Louie G.’s.

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