Person of the Week
 
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Anne Coombs

Updated: Sunday, September 15 2013, 02:19 PM EDT
Give children the opportunity to experience music in their lives and you change the world.

Our Person of the Week not only believes that, she has put it into action.

Anne Coombs is an accomplished, award winning musician and songwriter in her own right.

Several years ago she created a rock academy, and the lessons learned there by hundreds of young people are going far beyond music.

Tomorrow night, the team takes the stage at the orange peel before an audience other than the usual moms and dads.

"It's so unique because there's really nothing like this out there.

Nothing like the rock academy and no one like it's founder, Anne Coombs.

Jerri Goldberg, friend, "it's been a dream of hers to bring music to kids, and especially to kids who otherwise might not be able to afford it."

Anne Coombs, "Person of the Week", "I made a pact with myself to never turn a child away from music lessons and just started taking them in at no cost."

Even finding instruments for students like 13 year old Andalyn Lewis.

Through Anne's non-profit, give to the music program, Andalyn was able to get this bass guitar several years ago.

Shell Danielson Lewis, Andalyn's mother, "I'm so grateful, in a time when it was hard for us and we were changing our life and starting over and my husband was back in school."

Andalyn Lewis, "Rock Academy" musician, "Anne has just been an awesome mentor and she has helped me so much."

She's helped hundreds of kids from different backgrounds, with different needs, to make music because as a child, someone came along and helped her.
    
"My family couldn't afford lessons or things like that.  They knew I was musical and in sixth grade a woman came along with a strings programs.  It was free, and it changed my life"
 
Now she's changing others.  She found that music was more than a melody, it was a means to important lessons in life.

"It teaches them self esteem, communication skills, leadership skills.  My ultimate goal would be they are good human beings in adult life."

If they happen to become good musicians too, well that's a bonus.

"The joy a child has by being given music, it opens up a whole new world for them.  It's gives them confidence and place to go."

A stage to show that practice doesn't always make perfect, but it can make them better.

Anne Coombs should know.

A fundraiser with a performance by the Rock Academy is being held at the Orange Peel Saturday night at 7pm.

Doors open at 6:30pm.

For more information about the academy and the Give to the Music program click here. Anne Coombs


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