PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Even in this age of COVID-19, students in the “Play It Forward” program have not skipped a beat and have even had virtual recitals to show off their musical chops.
“Play It Forward” is an opportunity for students to get individual piano lessons for free — and even free pianos.
Student Gus Crooks is inspired to keep getting better.
“The little keyboard was off-key but I didn’t know that,” he said. “But the bigger the pianos got that I tried the better it was for me to play and more fun.”
The pivot to a virtual experience has been a learning curve for many like Heaven Fay and her grandmother. But like everything else, the students and their families have adapted. Now some of them are continuing their education in a virtual summer camp.
Michael Allen Harrison, the brains behind “Play It Forward,” keeps the program alive year round with a big fundraising gala in the fall. But this year, like everything else, it will be online as a Supper Club experience.
Those attending the “Supper Club” will have a meal and wine sent to their home while watching kids in the program perform. Other performers include entertainers Jim Brickman and Julianne Johnson.
“What we tried to do is create an experience like you’re going to a ballroom and having a beautiful meal auction, paddle raise and all that stuff,” Harrison said.