Music has bridged gaps between cultures as a universal language of which all can appreciate and enjoy. It is everywhere we go and everyone has their favorite songs to console them in the hard times and to help celebrate the good times. Lately, high school band interest has dwindled as more kids are turning to other points of interest, unrelated to actually playing the music most listen to on a daily basis.
A new community center recently opened its doors on Lower Huntington Road in Waynedale to share its musical celebration. Big Bam’s Musical Art Center was started by two Fort Wayne natives who’s passion for music spawned the idea to open up shop. Maurice (Bam) Causey and Marjory (Candy) Billingsley with many years of professional music experience and child care poured their hearts into the innovative idea of creating a center for all to express their musical ambitions. Their hope is that through their services, youth may once again have a greater interest in music, while providing discipline, skills and a better appreciation of the music that they love to hear and play.
The Musical Art Center houses a non-profit which provides lessons to children and young adults, ages 3-20 years old. Candy’s Step The Right Way Program teaches its students to play instruments and to read, compose, and arrange music. Students can learn to play a variety of instruments, and even take dance and vocal lessons. At the beginning of every music lesson, a life skill is taught to keep the students away from sex, drugs, alcohol, and other dangers.
The program is organized so that even low income families can afford music lessons for their children at around $50 for the entire year. After taking lessons throughout the year, students spend the last two months learning about professional recording techniques and can even receive a professionally recorded cd of them self playing. Students will also have the opportunity to take a field trip to local concerts and other musical venues. The community center provides a conference room which students can take advantage of for after school to study under the supervision of staff.
Candy’s Step The Right Way Program’s director, Marjory (Candy) Billingsley is a licensed child care provider. Her passion is focused on keeping children of the community moral while learning to understand and play music. Candy hopes to raise additional funds by creating local events and fundraisers to support the non-profit.
The Musical Art Center also provides other features, such as a recording studio, a small shop with musical books and toys, and rental space. Lessons are not only for children, all ages are invited for group or individual lessons. For more information please visit www.bigbamsmac.com, call (260) 478-9424, or visit the center on 2812 Lower Huntington Road.