Tag Archives: homeschooling

Metropolitan Youth Orchestra and Birmingham Scrollworks

For the past two years, the youngest son has been taking percussion classes at Birmingham Scrollworks . I have talked about his Drum Wizard before in this post and watching his progress has been really fun for me. Here they are in a pic I took during class one day. The great thing for me as I’ve watched him learn music, hasn’t just been in monitoring his ability to play, but watching him develop confidence in himself along with an understanding of music and how it works and what he can do to help keep that passion alive as he grows. Observing him as he starts to identify himself as a musician, has really been rewarding.


Scrollworks is a 501c3 non-profit music school. We serve kids who are often unable to get music lessons otherwise, foster kids, low-income, disabled, etc.
We use donated instruments via a type of instrument “library” where a small deposit is paid once for the instrument and given back upon its return. Once the kids have progressed in their skills, they try out for the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra and play together as a group, occasionally doing community performances.


This coming April 2, 2016, we will be having a fundraiser, the first ever Forte Music Festival, at Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve. Tickets will be $15 and includes food, drinks, and live music from local musicians. There will be a silent auction, which I’m proud to say I have had a hand in soliciting donations to be included. The funds raised from this will go towards music books, instrument repair, consumables, and basic expenses to keep the school going.

Scrollworks is dedicated to making music instruction and ensemble playing available to all, thereby developing character and sense of community. Young people of diverse racial, social, cultural, and economic backgrounds are encouraged to explore and cultivate their musical talent and contribute to Alabama’s musical culture. Over 200 students participate each year. Many have been denied music education in their neighborhood schools. Since our founding in 2007, the MYOCA has generated two Alabama Symphony Orchestra Rising Stars, as well as placing almost two dozen students in the prestigious Alabama School of Fine Arts.

Art programs are important, and music is important not just for kids but for humanity, especially in a time when schools are cutting these programs in order to focus on kids being able to pass tests.

Some of the donations we have received so far are:

Gift certificates to Cantina, Vecchia, Bottle and Bone, and Yogurt Mountain
Bowling passes, Vulcan Park passes, Barons tickets, Red Mountain Theater tickets, Red Mountain Adventure Park, Santa Fe Day Spa, Splash Adventure, Alabama Ballet, Paper Source, Birmingham Zoo, and Oriental Trading Co

We have received art related items from Virginia Jones Photography, dsart.com, Naked Art, Ashley Homestore, Stampin’ Up, Leon Loard, and Make ME That.

We have a gift certificate to Hanna’s Garden Shop and spring is the perfect time for it.

As time goes by, and more donations roll in, we will be keeping you guys updated. You should consider following Scrollworks on social media for regular updates. You can find them here:
Instagram! https://www.instagram.com/scrollworksmusicbham/
Learn! http://myorch.org/
Subscribe! https://www.youtube.com/myorch
Follow! https://twitter.com/scrollworks

If you’re interested in donating, whether it be instruments for our kids, music books or other music related items, cash, or items for our silent auction, you can contact me directly though my contact form and I can put you in touch or you can email from the myorch website. Any shares on this post would be appreciated, as well.

You can also access the Donor Form Here if you would like to get the ball rolling directly without having to email anyone.

If you’re interested in attending the Forte Music Festival, tickets can be purchased through this eventbrite link. .

Remember, please don’t hesitate to contact me if necessary and I can put you in touch with the right people. I’m always happy to help.

The Frankendrum Project

My youngest son is 11. He is taking percussion classes in Birmingham with an organization called Birmingham Scrollworks.  Drums are expensive. I am resourceful!

I’ve decided that rather than taking the money from our savings account to buy a drum set, I will slowly piece some together from pieces we pick up in the thrift store. We call these our Frankendrums.

(I really want to add “And this is their story” right here…)

Recently, I headed out to the Roebuck area to hit up some thrift stores in search of drums (and, at times, random things that make great gifts for the boys). The thrift store scene in that area is pretty good, from Roebuck Parkway to Pinson, there are 5 big shops. I didn’t have great luck at United, but when I went to America’s Thrift, I found these.


I’m not a pro, but I was a percussionist in the high school band and I thought these looked pretty good. I snapped a pic, then fired off a text to our Drum Wizard and asked him his opinion. The small toms, I wasn’t sure about because there’s no bass with hardware for them to sit on and I wasn’t sure if hardware is universal. If so, chances are, I’ll find a bass with missing toms sometime and can attach them.  After a bit, he texted me back that they looked pretty good and that ten bucks was a fine price for the floor tom, for sure. I loaded them into my basket and went up front and paid.

As I exited the store, these two ladies came charging out of the wig shop next door, making a ruckus and chasing after me. All I could think was “Shit! These must be their drums.” So I threw them into my van and booked it outta there.
OK, no, I didn’t. I stopped and listened to their story. Here is what I gathered.
They were very excited and one or both of them had a set of drums at home that may or may not have been broken and/or incomplete. They wanted to make me a deal BUT one of them kept telling me the drums were broken and the other one kept telling her “Shh! Don’t tell her that! Just get her to come to the house! *I* have some drums, and they’re not broken.” They continued to argue about the drums that they might have had.

They kept talking over one another and jockeying for who would sell me drums, so I took their number in case I wanted to call them later. I still haven’t called, but I do still have their number. I’ll probably just keep looking, but THEY were fascinating!

So, my next stop was Big Saver, and they had this drum and stand…


The Drum Wizard said it was a no go, though. He said those white heads don’t hold up and to pass. So, I passed. He saved me 12 bucks! I was going to buy that one until he said to wait.

So, we keep looking. In the meantime, the boy can get his room clean and ready to sling his hair around and drum like a rock star.