Okay, local musicians—now’s your chance to live out those School of Rock fantasies wherein you inspire a group of loveable kids to take up instruments and rock out (or play jazz, or classical, or other genres). Knoxville’s Joy of Music School is seeking volunteer teachers to bring music to the lives of disadvantaged youths; the non-profit organization currently has a waiting list of students for their free classes, but not enough teachers to go around.
“We hate to tell a kid we don’t have a teacher for him, and that’s why we’re always looking for more volunteers,” says Jackie Travis, manager of volunteer resources.
The school, located between Fort Sanders and Mechanicsville at 1209 Euclid Ave., was founded in 1997 by James A. Dick, the Knoxville radio pioneer who passed away just last month. All of the students at the Joy of Music School are from low-income families who would not otherwise have access to music instruction, instruments, or supplies, all provided free of charge. Currently, 160 students at the school receive private music instruction from 65 volunteer teachers. Most students are beginners, so you don’t have to be a professional to volunteer teach, Travis says. The waiting list for instructors includes: violin (three), cello (two), piano (16), guitar (15), drums (four).
Meanwhile, the school will be throwing a fund-raiser that’s also a tribute to longtime local musician Rick Wolfe, Wolfe Jam, at Barley’s Taproom, on Saturday, March 12, at 9 p.m. Performers include Davis Mitchell, Quartjar, Matt Woods, the Bearded, Jack Rentfro and the Apocalypso Quartet, and the MacDaddies. Plus, there’ll be a silent auction with items from Nikki Giovanni, the Bijou Theatre, the Shed, 55 Studios, Big Creek Expeditions, and more. All proceeds benefit the school; you can also make donations at Wolfe Jam.