OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Thanks to a generous donation, the next big musician could be coming from a Coast school. The Mississippi Songwriters Alliance wants music to become more common in the classroom.
That's why they donated a handful of guitars to the gifted program at Saint Martin Middle School.
"We want to pass that torch. We want to get kids at a younger age excited about playing instruments and songwriting because you want this to live on and continue," said musician, Gram Rea.
Rea is helping with this education outreach effort. He was contacted by the songwriter alliance's president, George Cumbest. Cumbest's hope with the outreach is to make music more accessible.
"There's not been a lot of support for the kid who wants to grow up to be the musician or the songwriter, so we're trying to mainstream it," said Cumbest.
The students are excited about the possibilities. "I think it will give our class an opportunity to learn the guitar and see what we want to do for our future," said fifth grader, Jalen Anderson. His classmate Julian Jackson, agreed, "I think it's going to inspire me to play the guitar."
Rea believes that even if the inspiration doesn't come, simply providing this tool will help open doors and give the students a chance to dive into the world of music he knows and loves. "If they really want it, they'll do it," said Rea.
The Mississippi Songwriters Alliance has donated more than 60 instruments to coast schools through this program. If you or your school is interested, please visit mssongwritersfestival.com for more information.