At the Adams Street Community Center Thursday, 7-year-old Lilley Isquirdeo confidently introduced herself to an audience of several dozen adults.
“I used to be in the first grade,” Lilley explained, speaking into a microphone. “Now I’m in the second grade.
The girl then gave a brief but strong acapella vocal rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”
Lilley was among more than two dozen children from Brownwood Music’s fifth summer music camp, which began Monday and concluded Thursday with a recital for parents and other guests.
Under the instruction of Brownwood Music owner Jodie Armstrong and music teacher Jackie Andersen, students were exposed to guitar, ukulele, keyboards, drums and vocals in the four-day camp.
Previous camps have been held at the Brownwood Music store on Baker Street, but was held this time at the Adams Street Community Center to accommodate the increasing numbers — 24 at this week’s camp, up from 14 last summer.
“We have had so much fun,” Andersen told parents. She said the community is blessed to have Armstrong and Brownwood Music “put so much work and dedication into the community.”
Andersen said the camp “helps young people come to know what joy you can have when you learn to play an instrument. They got to touch it, feel it, learn and more importantly develop social skills.
“Very few of these kids knew each other until they got together on Monday. t’s been wonderful to see the camaraderie and the friendships that have developed. We may be a little rusty in spots, but I am teaching them that in show business you don’t let your audience see you sweat.You keep going and don’t stop because no one knows what it’s supposed to sound like but them and me.”
After several of the performances, Armstrong commented on the skills that had been necessary. Armstrong said of 6-year-old Bryson Merrifield’s one-fingered piano song, “playing up and down the piano is very easy to your ears but he was having to use every correct finger going up, and if you don’t have muscle memory on your fingers, your pinkie and thumb — it’s hard to do.
“He was doing that correctly. That’s a lot harder for what he was doing than it sounded.”
Andersen said the children are learning, whether performing or speaking in front of people, “how to develop self confidence, how to keep the show going and how not to have stage fright. That all comes with practice.”
Andersen said she wants the children to see that “there’s nothing to be fearful of when they’re speaking to one another, but to be organized in your thoughts and to speak slowly and clearly so people can understand you. This is all part of — not just music, but developing social skills that music is so good at developing as they get older.”
Andersen told parents they’ve given their children a lifetime gift.
“Everything is achievable with your commitment, dedication and your support,” Andersen said. “We hope you’ll keep music alive in your house and in your hearts.”