After the Bell: Fort Worth Music Outreach




Posted on October 11, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 11 at 11:21 AM

FORT WORTH - You might say they're rockers turned teachers. A group of Fort Worth musicians is exposing students to music, and what those students keep they will hold onto forever.

The music lessons hit all the right chords at Fort Worth's Carter-Riverside High School. 

"It's a really big stress reliever because some people have a lot of classes like I do, and get to come after school and just let loose on the guitar and play my favorite songs," said Silverio Canchola, a sophomore at Carter-Riverside High. "It releases the stress I've had during the day."

The students are learning to play the guitar thanks to Eric Griffey and the Fort Worth Music Outreach program. Griffey founded the program last year. Today, his group of about two dozen volunteer musicians tutor students in nine Fort Worth after-school programs. 

In addition to the two one-half hour sessions per week, the students are able to bring their instruments home. 

"Not a hand out," Griffey said. "We don't automatically just give it to them. They have to earn it. They have to practice. They have to show enthusiasm for the instrument, show up on time and ready to play. Then the instrument is theirs at the end of the semester."

Some students got the itch playing Guitar Hero. For many of them, this is the first time they've played a real guitar. 

"After the first few weeks, I wanted to quit," said Ivan Duran, a sophomore at Carter-Riverside High School. "My fingers hurt. I just kept going at it and they don't hurt any more. The callous grew."

In addition to volunteering at schools, the musicians with Fort Worth Music Outreach also volunteer their time at Cook Children's Medical Center.