Student Begins Program Offering Free Music Lessons to Children in Community

HIGH POINT, N.C., Dec. 12, 2011 – Sara Dobson, a sophomore at High Point University, is bringing the gift of music to many children at the Macedonia Family Resource Center in High Point. Dobson has established a successful music program at the center – and thanks to growing interest, even more children will have the opportunity to learn to play the piano, sing and more starting in January.

Dobson, a nonprofit leadership and management major and music minor who first began volunteering at the center in April 2011, says she was told about a piano at the center that had sat in a storage closet – unused for years.

When she returned to volunteer at the center in the fall, she came back with an idea that would utilize the unused piano and her gift of music.

“Music has always been a huge part of my life and I love being able to share it with others,” she says. “Music lessons don’t always come cheap and aren’t always accessible in the form of lessons, books and instruments in many communities.”

So she began offering piano lessons in the hopes of allowing children ages 5 through 18 to experience new things and developing a better understanding and appreciation for music in a fun environment without the financial expense. Fellow HPU student John Purcell, a music major, then began offering voice lessons. The duo now gives lessons to 12 students. And next semester, she anticipates the program to expand thanks to two more HPU students who will offer piano and voice lessons as well.

“As the program grows in the coming months, I hope that we can add other music lessons, such as guitar,” Dobson adds.

Dobson says she is especially grateful that she was so prepared to begin such an endeavor. “I think my education here at HPU lines up perfectly with this project,” she says. “My nonprofit classes have given me the organizational tools necessary to plan and establish a program with a nonprofit organization.”

She says her professor and adviser, Pam Palmer, as well as music faculty such as Dr. Marc Foster and Marcia Dills, have been extremely helpful in assisting her to make her music lesson program such a success.

“I feel like both the Nonprofit Studies Department and the Department of Music are giving me the solid foundation necessary for carrying out a program such as this,” Dobson says.

At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.℠ HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with over 4,200 undergraduate and graduate students from 51 countries and 46 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report at No. 3 among Regional Colleges in the South. ranks HPU in the top 7 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” Parade Magazine lists HPU in the top 25 private schools in the nation. HPU was selected in the 2010-2011 list of “Colleges of Distinction,” as well as one of the top green schools in the country by the Sierra Club. The university offers 50 undergraduate majors, 43 undergraduate minors and 10 graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at

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Pam Haynes

Communication Specialist


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