TRURO - Beth Terry has a passion for music and art, and a desire to share that with people of all ages.
Terry teaches music lessons from a home-based studio in Truro but would like to see the creation of a centre for the arts where many teachers share their skills with both children and adults all under one roof.
“It’s nice when you see someone who has an interest in something and you are guiding them as they learn,” she said.
Terry’s connection to music began at age five when she began taking piano lessons in her hometown of Corner Brook, Nfld.
“It something that just came naturally,” she said.
While her parents didn’t play instruments themselves, they loved music and supported her as she learned to play a variety of instruments.
“In my community, or what I was involved with, music was a really major thing,” she said.
Later on in life her connection to music played an integral part of meeting her husband.
“What actually drew us together was we saw each other performing at an open mike night at university,” said the musician.
Six years ago after the young couple set down roots in Truro, Terry’s parents sent her prized piano, the one she learned to play on, to her new home.
“It was such a solace to have it again,” she said. “I didn’t realize how much I missed it and needed it until I had it here.”
For the past three years, she has opened her home to students teaching a variety of instruments and genres of music. And, while chatting with parents, she identified a gap in the community where preschoolers age two to four were not being given opportunities to be introduced to music.
It took Terry two years to develop a group program for preschoolers, Movers and Shakers, along with Mini-Musicians for older children that she now offers.
The program introduces young children to fundamentals of music, giving them the ability to recognize symbols, different types of instruments, learn to play with each other as a group or take turns, and problem solve. It also builds character.
Terry said it has been scientifically proven that music significantly affects brain development and cognitive skills.
“Children who are involved in music do substantially better in math and science at school,” she said. “It helps children think in broader terms instead of just black and white.”
She said there are endless benefits to learning to play music at any age.
She feels there are far more sport opportunities in the community than those for encouraging learning arts and music and that is something she is aiming to change.
“The arts are being cut from schools,” Terry said. “The first thing that always lands on the chopping block is art, drama classes, bands and music.
“For many children, it’s the highlight of their day. When kids have that and they go to those programs, they feel better. They feel lifted.”
For the past few months, she has been meeting with community members who share her passion for music, as well as elected officials and other stakeholders in an effort to move forward with a development of a centre for the arts, accessible and affordable to everyone in the community.
“What we are looking for now is a building, a facility that we could use. There is a tremendous amount of talented people here willing to host classes.”
She envisions the centre as a place where people can learn new skills; parents can take painting lessons or scrapbook with friends while their child learns to sing or take other lesions in a creative environment.
“I’m hoping within two years this is going to be a reality,” she said.
Terry would like to hear from people sharing her passion for music and art that would like to be involved with the project. She can be contacted at 843-0989.