SIU student raises money for elementary music class


CARBONDALE, IL — Is your student receiving enough musical education at school? Some schools in Illinois don’t have the money to fully fund their music programs.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale student Brenden Tisler hosted a benefit concert with several local artists in Carbondale.  The money will be donated to Maple Grove Elementary School music program in Joppa, Illinois.

Katrina Walczyk teaches music at Maple Grove Elementary. She said she fell in love with music early as a child. Now, she wants to give her students the opportunity to do the same thing. There’s only one problem, and they barely have any instruments.

“We do a lot of singing, because of instrument lack. We try to learn how to read music,’ said Walczyk.

Tisler, a member of the SIU Marching Salukis, heard about the school’s need, and wanted to help. Music has always been a part of his life

“Coming from a school that I had multiple instruments available to me, I can only imagine only having just a couple instruments and a very old piano that’s probably not even in tune anymore,” said Tisler.

He said he knows the benefits of being involved in the arts. He hopes his fundraiser will give other students the same opportunities.

“It’s known that music increases test scores. It also inspires creativity,” said Tisler.

Walcyzk plans to use some of the funds to buy orff instruments for her class.

“It’s going to open up a whole new world of activities we can do in class,” said Walczyk.

The fundraiser, which features local bands, started at 8 p.m. Thursday at Hangar 9 in Carbonale. According to Hangar 9’s website, the event will go on until 11:59 p.m. If you can’t make the concert but are interested in supporting the Maple Grove Elementary music program, visit the GoFundMe page set up for the fundraiser.