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  • O. Q. Johnson


OUR CORE COMPETENCY is learning how to read music through learning to play the piano. Why? that’s a good question and I’m going to tell you. When I was ten years old, I started taking piano instruction. By the time I was high school age I wanted to pursue music. Mastbaum A.V.T (Area Vocational Technical) High School in Philadelphia had several majors, the only one that I was interested, as you can guess, was music.

When I started music in high school, the band director, the late Burton Rosenberg immediately handed me a trumpet. Did I know anything about the trumpet? Nope, but I did know one thing, can you guess what? Well, I’ll tell you, I already knew how to read music. The trumpet is a treble clef instrument, playing melody or harmony depending on what part you had in the band. I only had to learn the mechanics of the three valves that form the notes I already knew and how to blow through a brass mouthpiece. In the beginning, it was very interesting. By the time I got to high school, I had been reading music for several years. That one crucial step was already taken care of. My trumpet teacher Mr. James only had to teach me how to work the instrument to produce the sound. That knowledge saved me the trouble of learning how to read music and the instrument at the same time. This is a perfect example of how our core competency works.

Kelaysha Williams is proof that the first step of learning how to play the piano and read music is vitally important. She started taking piano instruction in 2016. Played in several recitals. She is now taking violin instruction with our Jr. Instructor Rachel Harris who’s been playing the violin for several years and works extremely hard at it. Rachel also fell in love with the viola and is now learning how to play that too. Her teacher in school handed her one as a joke to see if she’d do it and guess what? Like a champ, she accepted the challenge. Kelaysha loves her new instrument, which she named Bobby Williams Jr., and she too is on her way to becoming a new violinist. This is because OUR CORE COMPETENCY WORKS!!!!!

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