Sixth grade student and double bass player, Ellie Ruemmler, from Chicago’s North Shore, developed and implemented an instrument donation fundraiser and run-a-thon that resulted in the donation 10 instruments and $475 to the People’s Music School, a Berklee City Music Network Member.
Her inspiration came from a project assigned by her then sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Einum; Ellie will be going into the seventh grade this fall. The project assigned was an expository on people who have started or helped charities. Students did a presentation on a person and charity they researched. The the class then voted on the presentations and would do a fundraiser for the presentation with the most votes. While Ellie’s fundraising idea did not win the class vote, she decided to move forward with it on her own.
Ellie tells us, “It took me a while to think of what to raise money for, so I asked myself what am I grateful for? Like I often do on Thanksgiving. I thought of how fortunate I am to play string bass in the orchestra here at school. Then I Googled organizations that help children have the opportunity to be in the orchestra or band, and the People’s Music School popped right up.”
The People’s Music School is a non-profit music education program in Chicago whose mission “is to cultivate access to free, quality music education. Through intensive instruction and performance our students learn more than music; they grow socially, emotionally and intellectually, and develop a foundation of responsibility, self-esteem and purpose.”
Ellie is passionate about music and music education. She sees music as a way to be and express yourself and most of all have fun. “Music education,” she says, “opens your ears to a world of sounds and melodies that you fall in love with… and it broadens your horizons and makes your life more diverse and interesting one note at a time.”
Music allows those who listen, play and experience it to become bigger and more understanding of themselves, their community and the world; changing lives in the process. As Ellie says, “There is nothing on this earth like music.”
The People’s Music School and Berklee City Music thank her for her fundraising efforts to give more young people the opportunity to learn music and play music.