Helping Children Of Low-Income Parents Learn Music

Helping Children Of Low-Income Parents Learn Music
InsideOut Kids

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Jacob Phaneuf, owner of InsideOut Music and Arts Studio, teaches a violin lesson inside the studio in Farmington.

By Terrah Baker

David Dickey and Jacob Phaneuf own InsideOut Music and Art Studios in Farmington, where they give daily music lessons to eager and young hopeful musicians. Besides just learning to play an instrument or perfect their art, these lessons help children learn important lessons that will help them through their whole lives, Dickey said.

“As adults, playing music has given us the ability to set out to do something and continue to practice until we get it right. It’s helped us both learn how to be adults and given us stuff we use in the real world,” Dickey said. “There’s a lot of real world application in general.”

This is great, but it made Dickey and his partner wonder why every child shouldn’t have that opportunity, whether or not they could afford the $69 monthly fee for weekly lessons.

While the two said they would love to offer free lessons, they have to stay financially viable. So they solved the problem by adding a nonprofit arm of their company in order to offer free and discounted music lessons to children in the local community.

Dickey and Jacob have been playing music together since they were 12 and 13, but Jacob just began tossing the idea of discounted lessons around a year ago. In January, a financial backer provided a small starting fund, and with that they’ve brought on 10 InsideOut Kids, and are holding a fundraiser to bring in what they hope will be much more.

“It’s going to take quite a bit of funding to get up to where we want. We’re trying to get 50 students by time we’re full,” Dickey explained. We have 100 plus students right now and they’re all paying students.”

All students are assigned to one of eight teachers, with Jacob teaching everything from vocal to artist development to guitar and Dickey teaching drums.

The discounted tuition will be on a sliding scale and based on a couple different income levels. If the child lives with a single parent, the number will be lower. Each student will be chosen by a board of 5 members chosen by Jacob and Dickey.

To support the InsideOut Kids program, visit their website at, or attend their fundraiser, Fri. Aug. 23, at Teatro Scarpino at 7-10 p.m. There will be a buffet-style dinner, a silent auction and live music from The Radio Sky, Surf de Soleil, The Keyla Reed Band and Candy Lee. It will be $15 to attend, with all proceeds going to the InsideOut Kids program.

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