First United Methodist Church in Waterloo in partnership with the University of Northern Iowa School of Music is nurturing a love of music in children from Irving Elementary School and their church.

Last fall two groups of five students took group piano lessons for ten weeks. A twenty-week session began in January and will run through May of 2017. Staff from the university and Irving join with church volunteers to guide these experiences.

Another feature of MusicMania ministry is an interactive summer camp for children in grades K-9. Students explore a variety of activities related to music on the UNI campus, including singing, dancing, drama and art. They get a chance to play Orff instruments, African drums, pianos, keyboards, violins and violas. The camp culminates in a performance at the end of the week.

One student, Dohntay, for example, has enjoyed MusicMania for the last five years. Now in high school, he participates in the jazz band and concert band. His mother credits the program for his ongoing involvement, which “sparked the interest he has in music today.”

Support from the Northeast District began in 2015 with a grant of $2500. They followed up in 2016 with a Matthew 25 grant, which was made possible through the apportionment gifts of the United Methodist churches of Iowa.

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