31 October 2015

Whether it is orchestra, choir or piano lessons, the outcome remains the same: music can change the life of a child. The same discipline that can bring a child joy and an appreciation for the arts has also proven to increase proficiency in academics, namely math and science. Unfortunately, due to school budget cuts across the state, many children may never have the opportunity to pursue an education in music. That's why organizations like The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia are determined to keep music education alive through programs and partnerships that benefit children like Brielle.

Brielle started out at The Salvation Army Citadel Corps Community Center daycare program when she was three years old and began taking part in the after-school program once she reached 2nd grade. Amidst a myriad of activities, the after-school program gave students the opportunity to learn how to play music several days each week. It was at this point that Brielle fell in love with music and eventually began taking part in the Citadel Corps' music program.

"There was something about The Salvation Army that made me feel comfortable when Brielle was young," said Ella Jordan, Brielle's mother. "She began taking part in the music program and instantly fell in love."

Brielle began playing violin The Salvation Army's youth band and eventually took up the alto horn and clarinet as well.  Through the program, she learned how to read music and play multiple instruments, an experience that put her ahead of her peers in her school music classes.

"I've really enjoyed playing with The Salvation Army," said Brielle. "It's given me the opportunity to play in new places and meet people from across the U.S. and across the world."

Her music education at the Army prompted her to make music a big part of her life. Now at the age of 18, she takes part in the Citadel Corps' senior band as well as her school's orchestra. Brielle also plays at the Citadel Corps' weekly church services and teaches music to younger children at the after-school program, hoping to inspire them the same way she was inspired. Brielle is currently considering continuing her music education as she chooses colleges.

"So many kids don't have the opportunity to do different things," said Ella, "and the opportunity to play music teaches them to learn discipline and realize their talent. I'm so thankful for The Salvation Army. Their programs are really geared towards benefitting the community and the kids."

Hopefully, through a commitment to music education, The Salvation Army can continue to inspire children like Brielle to better their lives through music. As Shakespeare once said, "If music be the food of love, play on."