Student-to-Student Initiative

For years Jim had wanted to find a way to improve the community that had provided a home for his drum studio in Bridgeport, CT.  After twenty years of providing music experiences to children from all over Connecticut, in 2009 Jim’s vision, to reach into Bridgeport’s neighborhoods and give low-income children the experiences that their more affluent suburban peers have enjoyed for the past two decades, was realized.   In this spirit, the Student-to Student Music program was born. 

The Student-to-Student music program provides weekly percussion lessons, participation in one of five percussion ensembles at the Jim Royle Drum Studio, and mentoring to support the personal and professional growth of low-income, urban youth.  Students learn to read music, to play the full range of percussive instruments including drum line percussion, all mallet instruments (marimba, xylophones, etc.) timpani, drum set, steel pan, African drums, and study all styles of music including rock, jazz, classical, Caribbean and African drumming and perform in a minimum of three public recitals at no cost.

In the program’s first year, five children from Bridgeport, CT received weekly lessons, performed in a steel pan and marimba ensemble, learned drum set, attended master classes with world renowned artists, and interacted with high level experienced percussion students in close, mentoring relationships.  All students were provided, at no cost, bell kits, practice pads, drum sticks, music books, and music stands.  One student was chosen at the end of the year to receive a full drum set. 

What can you do to help?

The studio received support from Action for Bridgeport Community Development (ABCD, Inc.) for start-up costs, but on-going support is needed to sustain the initiative.  Donations are needed – monetary and donations of instruments.  Donations are tax deductible and should be made to the Connecticut Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society.   Donations can be mailed or delivered to:  The Connecticut Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society, 1548 Wood Avenue, Bridgeport, Ct.   06604.  For further information, you can contact Jim Royle at (203) 336-4875 or June Malone at (203) 366-8241, ext. 237.