Local kids find passion for music through mentorship

Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 6:10 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Created to Play is a youth mentorship program centered around teaching kids how to play drums.

We spoke with them at a recent fundraiser to hear how the organization came to impact local students.

“Three years ago, at the beginning of the beginning, we didn’t even have drums. We used to play on wood,” said Alijah Lollis.

It quickly turned into more than 60 students learning all about percussion.

Bryon Fields, drummer said: “I learned how to read music, and I learned how to play different types of drums.”

Jeremiah Winston said: “I’ve learned how to play more music than I have before.”

Swaydyn Abrams said: “I love color guard, and I love my flag and a love the band.”

The lessons learned here stretch far beyond the music.

Chase Myers, cymbal player said: “I learned that you should not give up. You should keep going”.

Teaching kids these lessons is what inspired Jermal Harris to start this group after working as a substitute teacher.

“Back in 2019, the kids were doing a lot of things that wasn’t pleasant. It just seemed like nobody ever talked to them, nobody ever has guided them and shown them the way,” he said.

He used his knowledge and passion for drumming to reach the students.

“A whole bunch of students became interested in it. They wanted to learn more. They started becoming more passionate about it,” said Harris.

Harris says they have students who commute from counties like Aiken and Burke to be a part of the group. Many students say they hope to continue playing drums in the future.

One of those passionate students, Lollis, has been a member all three years. He says it helped him find his passion for music.

“I usually started singing when I was young, but then when I heard drumming, I was like yeah that’s it,” he said.

But more than finding a passion, he says he found an extra family.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re different, doesn’t matter if you have different hair. If you’re on the drum of created to play, you’re dignified as family,” said Lollis.

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