A look at Central High’s Piano Lab program

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CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Thanks to donations from the community, Chattanooga Central High School has become one of a few schools in the Hamilton County system, who can now offer a course in piano.

At no cost to the students, they will be able to earn a fine arts credit and learn to play the piano at the same time.

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It’s tonight’s edition of What’s Right With Our Schools.

KATHERON: I have not been able to believe of the miracle of how quickly this has come together.

Natural sound: [Notes:playing on the piano]

PHIL: It all started with a kind of a dream and a vision Miss Latham and I have been trying to discuss what fine arts metal being part of a well rounded program at a school, at a high school. And we got to discussing the need to expand our program. And one of the visions that she had (being capable of playing the piano) was to have a piano lab.

NATURAL SOUND: Instead of playing it this way where am I fingers stay on the key, I’m actually letting it pop up off the key.

PHIL: The first thing we did was consider the interest. One of the things that we knew we needed Wass funding to to buy the equipment. We were going to need a space for the program. And we were going to have to do some renovations to a classroom. And we just went out and got started.

Natural sound: [Notes:piano playing]

KATHERON: You know our school is what we call a title I school. Which means that some of these students come from low income homes. And many of them I wouldn’t notice (since the last years of being here at Central), they would say Miss Latham can you teach me how to play this; could you teach me this. And I said I’d love to. We need the time and the place. And so it was just a burden on my part that we have an opportunity for these students, because their desire was there.

XXANDER: Well, I originally started playing guitar in the seventh grade. And I just thought it would be a good chance to learn another instrument.

McKENELY: Most people, or most athletes don’t play the piano. Most of them play either the drums or the guitar. So that’s kind of why I chose piano.

Natural sound: so today we are talking about what Decato means.

KATHERON: They’re not having to put out the money for lessons. They are not having to buy an instrument. And as well as they have the time. The good news is, we have a donor that through the community foundation of Chattanooga has just contacted us last week. That they want to contribute money to expand our program.We are going to be able to buy four more pianos, a music library (that will have a variety of levels and genres for students), and we needed a music whiteboard; and they are going to be able to buy that. So I’ve just been totally blessed and feel like this has just been a miracle.