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Kids learn to play together in ‘Music Mayhem’ program

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GROTON — On Friday, July 20, the Groton Center for the Arts Summer Artworks “Music Mayhem” program held its first concert, in the theater of the Groton School on Farmer’s Row. About 15 young musicians shared the stage with a host of amps and instruments, including a half-dozen guitars, several keyboards, a saxophone, a ukulele and an accordion.

There were so many children this past week that they had to break into several smaller bands. They then regrouped for the final set. “I liked learning how to play with other people, who play totally different instruments,” said Wiley Krishnaswamy of Dunstable. “It was hard, but we got used to it.”

While the Summer Artworks program has been running for over 30 years, this is the first year for the Music Mayhem program. In the program, local children, ages 9-15, learn how to play music together. At the end of the week, they go home with a recording of their music.

“The purpose of the camp was to get these kids improvising and learning how to write a song,” said Mike Geezil, the local musician who started the camp program. “Many children want to play music together,” he explained, “but they don’t have the confidence to say ‘hey, let’s get together.'”

Geezil, who grew up in Harvard, went to school for sound engineering but decided he preferred to work with children. He started his “Music Mentor” classes out of the Carlisle extended day program so that he could help kids make music together.

Mary Gilbert-Hall, the camp director of the Groton Center for the Arts, enjoyed the concert and has welcomed the new addition to her summers. “Mike and I are very happy with it,” she said, “and hopefully it will continue for a long time.”

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