Music is changing lives for homeless children - DatelineCarolina

Music is changing lives of Columbia's homeless children

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Dayshana lives at the family shelter and find joy by playing guitar Dayshana lives at the family shelter and find joy by playing guitar
Children living at the shelter get the chance to learn musical instruments like the saxophone Children living at the shelter get the chance to learn musical instruments like the saxophone

By: Michelle Burroughs

The power of music is changing the lives for some children living at the Columbia Family Shelter.

Every Wednesday evening a group of USC students bring their favorite musical instruments and take the time to teach the children how to play. Some love the piano, some love the saxophone, and some can't get enough of the guitar.

"I learned that you can push buttons and sounds will come out," said Dayshana, a young girl living at the family shelter.

For Dayshana the music is what brings life into the rooms of what can be a lonely place.

The Midlands family shelter is the only emergency shelter in Columbia hosting families. It can house fifteen families at a time. Each family can live in the shelter for four months, so Dayshana takes advantage of the time to learn music from the USC students.

"It's really amazing because it's giving them an opportunity that they wouldn't usually get routinely, to be around instruments and these little things that allow them to flourish and really explore that opportunity," Nick Washington, who works with the youngsters at the shelter, said.

Communities in Harmony is the name of the group that visits each Wednesday. The students say they have a passion for music and a passion to help children so creating this service club is a natural fit.

"I went into it thinking it would be a great way to serve kids and the more I've been apart of it the more I've realized if they're aware of it or not, they are actually serving us in return to us serving them, so I think the community we form is awesome," Sam Crandall, the president of the group, said.

What was surprising to the USC students was that several of the children at the family shelter said they want to be musicians and singers when they grow up.

"I want to be a singer. I like to sing and I like the play piano," Dayshana said.

Each time the USC students come to the shelter it seems the halls get a little bit brighter.

And for Dayshana, it's one hour a week in the homeless shelter where she can focus on a dream, and sing.

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