Most of you know that after five years, I’ve recently transitioned from my work with Sitar Arts Center, a wonderful non-profit offering arts education to underserved families, to pursue full time piano teaching and the development of an arts program to serve the youth East of the Anacostia River in the Deanwood neighborhood. This coming year, I will be looking for opportunities to meet neighbors and partner with other schools and organizations as I build a private piano studio and teach in the community and begin to see where I can serve.
As I transition to teaching full-time in Deanwood, I am determined to confront some of the barriers facing students of low-income households that keep them from the joys of a music education. Many students want to learn the piano but cannot afford an instrument to practice on. Having an instrument at home is crucial to developing a love for, and discipline with, the piano. One of the unique aspects of my piano studio is the opportunity for students to receive a weighted-key digital piano on loan, with the potential to own it after exhibiting consistent attendance and work.
I’m kicking off this new journey by raising $5000 to purchase new or gently used weighted-key digital pianos.Five of these pianos will be used for a group piano class I will be teaching at the neighborhood elementary school, Houston Elementary. The others I purchase will be used to loan out to students with the hope that they will earn them through consistent effort. These donations are not (yet) tax deductible, as I’m not a registered 501(c)3, but an oversight committee is being formed to hold me accountable for the use of these funds solely for student instruments. You can donate to me in person or online through my CrowdRise Page.
Feel free to email me with questions. If you’re interested in staying updated on my progress for both this fundraiser and future endeavors here in Deanwood (and to indicate that you don’t mind unsolicited emails :)), you can sign up for my very occasional newsletter here.This is certainly just the very beginning of a hopefully long and exciting new vocation for me, and I’d love to have you along for the ride!
Thank you for your support and encouragement on this new journey!
Peace and all good,
One thought on “A New Journey”
Hi Brian, I am a friend of Douglas Welcome and a fellow piano teacher with a BA in Music Education. We actually had a chance to play “Sleigh Ride” together at one of the Christmas parties hosted by Kevin and Charla Lum. I am very inspired by your goal of targeting low-income households and bringing music lessons to this population. My husband is the interim pastor at Mosaic Church of the Nazarene and we live in a church parsonage in 16th Street Heights, so I am familiar with Sitar Arts Center as well. We are currently looking to purchase a home and really hope to settle in Deanwood. I would love to have the opportunity to “talk shop” with you and see if I could somehow support you in your awesome community-building endeavors in Deanwood. Thanks so much!