Trenton Music Makers gives children the chance to effect social change through music

TRENTON, N.J. (WPVI) -- Young students at Grant Elementary School are learning to play violin when they might not have had the chance, while another group of students in the orchestra are getting help tuning up for practice.

With the help of donated instruments and local supporters, the Trenton Music Makers provides music education with a preschool program and another for kids 2nd grade through high school in partnership with the Trenton Public Schools.

But, there's more going on than just the music says Artistic Director Lydia Veilleux.

"They like to hear the sound of themselves and with each other and hear how their part fits in. They are working on concentration and they are working on self-control and they're working on community building, so I think the skills overall rather than just the music," says Lydia.

The program continues to grow, recently landing a national grant for effecting social change through music.

Executive Director Carol Burden says the student's skills are translating into other benefits.

"We heard one of our kids say at the end of our pilot, wow, I didn't think I could play the violin maybe I can do math better. These are amazing intended benefits, but more to the point, Trenton children have a right to access beautiful activities," says Carol.

The students are thankful for the opportunity to learn and perform.

"I've been able to play at concerts and have an opportunity to play violin because other programs have to pay for it sometimes, so it's a big opportunity because I won't have to pay for it and I get to learn music," says fifth grader Mesiah Brooks.

"It's very special for me, because not many kids get to do this," says fifth grader Carlenys Santana.

"I'm just grateful that I'm in this program, because now when I get older I have a backup thing I can do for like violin or something for like a scholarship," says Delianna Marte, also in the fifth grade.

And it's the dedication of the students and teachers that's making a difference.

"I've been super happy because I kept trying and trying, because my teacher was pushing me because they know I can do it," says fourth grader Leach Davis.

And with the help of Trenton Music Makers there's no limit to how far they'll be able to go.

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