By Rebecca Rider
The Salisbury Post
Marguerite Keller stands in front of a fifth-grade class at Hanford Dole Elementary School holding a violin. While the students hold their own instruments under their arms, in rest position, Keller talks to them about music.
She tells them about a trip she took overseas when she was young, playing in an orchestra where everyone spoke a different language — but they all understood music.
“I hope you get to have that experience with your violin,” she tells them.
This year, every student in Sally Schultz’s fifth grade class is learning to play the violin. It’s a new pilot program launched by the school system and the Salisbury Symphony.
“We were just brainstorming ways to get more music into our schools,” said Kelly Feimster, director of instructional programs with Rowan-Salisbury Schools.
The symphony’s “Afterschool Strings” program has always been popular, and according to Keller, Salisbury schools used to have a strings program before the county and city systems merged in the late ’80s.
When Feimster and symphony Executive Director Linda Jones put their heads together, they came up with the pilot program.
“It would be all in. Everyone would have an equal opportunity to participate,” Feimster said.