Piano players Merissa Li and Jamie Yin are offering free lessons as part of their non-profit program called Find Your Forte. (submitted photo)

Piano players Merissa Li and Jamie Yin are offering free lessons as part of their non-profit program called Find Your Forte. (submitted photo)

In Surrey, free piano lessons offered by charitable pals

‘Find Your Forte’ program runs every Saturday at a church in Fleetwood

Merissa Li and Jamie Yin want to give Surrey children a chance to be more musical.

The friends have co-founded a charitable program called Find Your Forte, which offers free piano lessons to kids in the foster-care system and those in low-income families.

Weekly half-hour lessons, for both beginners and intermediate players, are offered every Saturday at Fleetwood Christian Reformed Church, and new students are sought.

The non-profit program, online at findyourforte.ca, began life as a talk between Li and Yin about their shared passion for playing and teaching piano.

Since childhood, Li and Yin “have been fortunate enough to receive quality music education, and because it has had such a positive impact on our lives, we would like to give back to our community,” notes the program website. “This idea has been sitting in the back of our minds individually for years, but only recently transformed into reality by working in collaboration with one another.”

Starting out, kids in foster care were offered the free lessons, but that plan has evolved to include others, with the help of administrator Iris Lee and IT/media director Matthew Wang.

“We are looking to accept students from low-income families as well,” said Li, 18, a Fraser Heights-area resident and recent graduate of Pacific Academy. “We have the means and the resources to offer free weekly musical lessons to them, but are looking for a way to reach these families and spread the news.”

Kids aged five to 18 are welcome to register for the lessons.

“Having a piano or keyboard at home is crucial to success in music due to the necessity of daily practice and is therefore mandatory,” notes a post under the website’s Frequently Asked Questions section. “Keyboards can be rented from Long and McQuade for a very nominal price. There are always free pianos available on Craigslist as well.”

Also, the website explains, “Parents are responsible for providing the required music lesson books for their children.

“There will be a year-end recital in June (date TBD) and all students are encouraged to participate.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Delta City Hall. (James Smith photo)
Harvie, Kruger to represent Delta on Metro Vancouver board

Delta reps to sit on 11 of 16 standing committees and task forces

Record-setting high jumper Emma de Boer, who lives in Cloverdale and attends Holy Cross Regional High School in Fleetwood, will train and study architecture at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) next fall. (submitted photo)
Surrey jumper on a high after recruitment by UPenn track team

High jumper Emma de Boer aims to leave Cloverdale for Philadelphia next fall

The White Birch proposal for a six-storey rental-only building at 1485 Fir St. was turned down by council on Monday night. (Contributed rendering)
White Birch developer feels ‘betrayed’ by City of White Rock council

Application for new rental building at 1485 Fir St. turned down by council

Surrey RCMP Gang Enforcement Team street check. (File photo)
Surrey RCMP gang enforcement team seizes five vehicles

This was over 13 days, as SGET continues to target gang activity in this city

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
Canadian, American rescue crews searching for missing aircraft in waters near Victoria

The search is centered around the waters northeast of Port Angeles

Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber are wanted on Canada-wide warrants. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Convicted killer, robber at large after failing to return to facility: Victoria police

Dean Reber, 60, and Jonathon Muzychka, 43, may be together

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Modelling of predicted transmission growth from the B117 COVID-19 variant in British Columbia. (Simon Fraser University)
COVID-19 variant predicted to cause ‘unmanageable’ case spike in B.C: report

SFU researchers predict a doubling of COVID-19 cases every two weeks if the variant spreads

RCMP officers wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 stand by. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
RCMP appeal for witnesses after hit-and-run leaves girl, 17, in critical condition

The Metro Vancouver teenager was found unconscious and critically injured after being hit: police

The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
Canadians divided over Keystone pipeline, despite U.S. president’s permit pullback

Two-thirds of Canadians think Biden’s decision was a “bad thing” for Alberta

Most Read