By Nicole Hawkins
Two recent high school graduates are leaving behind a legacy of music education for elementary school students in Fort Worth.
Lily Goldberg, daughter of Kim and Bob Goldberg, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Fort Worth and Tarrant County, and fellow classmate, Thu Pham, started a program at R.L. Paschal High School called “In Tune,” with the goal of teaching Fort Worth elementary school students about music.
Goldberg said that Pham, who is attending Harvard University in the fall, initially came to her with the idea two years ago and the women immediately began fundraising, gathering instruments and recruiting fellow high school students to volunteer.
According to In Tune’s website, the mission statement of the program is to give children an opportunity to develop an appreciation for music, gain important skills that can be applied in the classroom and in life and have fun doing it.
The duo partnered with De Zavala Elementary School, teaching music lessons to students once a week because its music program had a lack of funding.
“Music has always been a really important part of my life,” Goldberg said. “I think having some sort of creative outlet is so important, especially for younger children, and we wanted to bring that to children who didn’t have that opportunity.”
During the two years of the program’s existence, high school volunteers helped De Zavala students put on a concert for their parents, playing the instruments they learned: guitar, piano or ukulele.
Goldberg, who has played violin since she was a child, taught herself to play the ukulele so that she could teach and lead students in song during the concert. Adding a new instrument under her belt helped with her teaching, expanding opportunities for her students. One of them performed a ukulele solo during the last In Tune concert.
“His parents were so proud of him,” Goldberg said. “Having parents go up to you and being so thankful and telling you how their children wouldn’t have this opportunity without you is just so cool.”
Goldberg, who will be attending Washington University in St. Louis in the fall, and Pham, hope the program will continue on when they leave Texas and are recruiting incoming seniors at Paschal to help.
In addition to founding and running In Tune, Goldberg and Pham were involved in many activities and clubs on campus including Key Club and National Honor Society.
“I think In Tune, for both of us, was our most special extracurricular program,” Goldberg said. “It’s what mattered the most to us.”
By Nicole Hawkins