After school program offers musical training

Posted at 7:22 PM, Mar 28, 2016

A former school teacher opened an after school program to help children learn how to play an instrument.

While Faith's Place drummers are practicing for an upcoming performance, in another room a symphonic band strikes a chord.

Some of the students can't afford music lessons, but Noble Lockhart-Mays is making their dreams come true. 

"I had to go outside of my four walls and really impact positively in my community," said Lockhart-Mays.

After one of her students' teen brothers was killed, it inspired her to start the after school program.  She later visited the heartbroken mother. 

"(She told me) 'Mrs. Mays, if my son had an after school program to go to, he would be alive today,'" said Lockhart-Mays.

She looked for youngsters hanging out on the streets, found 10 of them and put them in a music class.

"When God provides, you have to roll with it," said Lockhart-Mays.  

Four years later, she has 120 budding musicians ages pre-school to 11th grade.

"I raise money. I hit the pavement running for these children. The sky is the limit, and many of them are going to be the first college graduates. Notice I said graduates. We want to get them to and through (college)," said Lockhart-Mays. 

She doesn't regret leaving the classroom and is still helping children learn, just in a different way.

"It makes them productive citizens. It makes them see light at the end of the tunnel because the area in which some of them live is a tunnel. They need to have hope and with Faith's Place they have faith and hope to know that life is much bigger than the four corners of Palm Beach County," said Lockhart-Mays.

Learn more about Faith's Place Center for Arts and Education, located at 500 22nd St. in West Palm Beach, by visiting their website or calling them at 561-856-8345.