Not all Ovation scholarship applicants are naturally talented musicians. What they all do have, though, is a passion for playing music. In this instance the requester has both. He comes from a musical family with a grandmother who plays piano, a father who plays violin, guitar and piano, a brother who drums, a sister who sings and two Aunts who are professional musicians.
“I am writing you as the parent and guardian of Conrad. Conrad has expressed an interest in attending the (music school) since October 2015 when some of his peers in marching band said they also attended (music school). I tried my very best to make his wish come true but the monthly fee is what prevented me from letting him attend. We asked everyone in the family to chip in money for lessons as a Christmas present. Some money was raised but only enough to barely cover one month of lessons. I have also asked two charitable organizations to donate one month of lessons if possible. I was declined by both charities due to the high cost per month of lessons.
I am self-employed and Conrad’s father is unemployed and lives with his mother; in this down-turned economy work is not easy to come by. We struggle to pay the bills most months just to keep the basic utilities on, so the financial need is there.
But let me tell you a little bit about Conrad. He has a natural talent to pick up any instrument and play it with ease. He is a product of a very musical family. He has played drums since 5th grade and found that it was a good outlet for his musical talents and was able to express himself through them. He wanted more so his grandmother gave him piano lessons but that really did not fulfill his needs. He has watched his father play violin, guitar, and piano over the years, which stirred something deep down in his soul. He also watched his older brother play drums, and half the time it would be Conrad playing when the older one should have been practicing. Conrad’s twin sister has been in Choir class as long as he has been in Band classes. He also has two very talented Aunties who have made music their profession. So not being able to afford guitar lessons for him breaks all of our hearts because he has a plethora of raw, natural talent.
In 2011, when Conrad was in 5th grade, he was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. He has worked with social workers since 1st grade for what we thought was ADD. But after several social conflicts and episodes with his peers, he could not fit in no matter how hard he tried. We even had to put him in a special behavioral school so he could work out some of his issues. He was the only student they had in the history of their program who rode the bus to the regular school just for band class.
During his three years there, he started to build some good relationships with his peers and used music as a way to fit in. When he found his talent in music, his heart filled with great joy. He learns very quickly and takes it very seriously and pours his heart into playing. If you know anything about children with high-functioning Autism they are very goal-focused and will not stop until they acquire the goal that they set out for themselves. Please help us grant this wish for my child to continue taking lessons at (music school). Because to tell you the truth, I do not know how I could afford to let him continue.”
It’s a shame when students like Conrad are denied access to music education because of lack of funds. You can help. Donate here to the Ovation Music Fund.