Community center offers piano lessons -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Community center offers piano lessons

May 1, 2004

Newton- Assistant Piano Instructor Eddie Bankston spends a lot of time teaching his students the basics.

"They'll be able to play within six months to a year. That's what were looking at," he says.

This group of eager learners is the first to take piano lessens through the East Baker Historical Society, a group of former Baker Elementary and High School students who vowed not to let their old school waste away when the building was vacated.

So, for more than a year the organization has worked to turn the old building into a full service community center.

"We realized early on that having piano players living in the county for the churches and so forth is a real need. No one was provided that service, and that's something that we wanted to provide," says East Baker Historical Society CEO, Shirley Sherrod.

Each Saturday the students learn, the county gets closer and closer to having a new generation of pianists...a generation that's made up of both children and adults.

"Music is one of the basic essentials in bringing others in whether it's to work with computers or homework or reading. Music always draws people and I think that's very essential for this area," Bankston says.

The East Baker Historical Society is hoping the sound of music flowing from the building will inspire others to take advantage of the programs they plan to offer.

"This building meant so much to us when we went to school here. It was the first time we had a facility so nice in the county, and it meant a lot to us back in 1957," admits Sherrod.

And it means even more now that an old school can help breath new life into an entire community.

The East Baker Historical Society also offers a quilting class and softball league. They are planning to add after-school and educational programs.

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