MUSCATINE – Libraries are generally known to be quiet. Throughout October, however, the Musser Public Library will provide a place for middle and high school students to make noise and let off steam.
On Friday, October 7, Musser’s Public Library will hold the first of its “Library of Rock” sessions. This program, which will run from 5:45 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. every Friday in October, plus one Friday in November, will allow young people and teenagers to learn to play music by offering them the experience of playing in a rock band (or any genre).
It’s just the latest program dreamed up by Emerson Taylor, who joined Musser as the new teen librarian in June. Prior to this, Taylor worked part-time with the library through its television program, “Mr. Taylor’s Songs and Stories,” in addition to his work in the Muscatine School District at the elementary level.
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“I really loved what the library had done, and when I saw there was a vacancy, I just thought it would be a great opportunity for me, and I really appreciated it,” Taylor said. “It’s been a fun ride this summer, getting involved with all the summer programming and trying to get started with new programs this fall.
In her new work, Taylor continues to incorporate music into her work, combined with a bit of inspiration from the Jack Black movie “School of Rock,” all culminating in this latest library youth program.
“(Music) is something I’ve always been passionate about, and it’s something that’s in my wheelhouse, being someone who performs for kids and tries to help them have confidence in what they do, which is a big part of my teaching philosophy,” Taylor explained, adding that a program like this seemed to fit perfectly with what he wanted to do for the library and its young patrons.
Taylor also cited the importance of accessibility, both through the location of the program and its lack of registration fees, as well as the fact that it can be difficult for children to find educational opportunities. learn and play music outside of these programs. , because “garage bands” where kids can get together and dance are less common than they were in the 1980s or 1990s. That makes accessible music programs all the more important, Taylor said.
“For kids who might generally be interested in after-school music programs, it usually takes a big financial commitment from the parents. So I wanted to try and come up with a program for middle school and high school kids that can interesting while being free. We want all Muscatine patrons to be able to access what the library has to offer,” he continued.
Since this program is a supervised after-hours event, Taylor said he plans to teach attendees how to play a few specific songs while at the same time giving them a chance to explore the musical genres that interest them and become so noisy. as they wish without disturbing other customers. If there’s enough interest in the program, Taylor said he might try bringing it back for a few more sessions.
“We look forward to adapting to this new program and what it will become,” he said. “I also hope that for children who may not have been to the library, this program will give them the opportunity to see what the library has to offer.”
No pre-registration is required for “Library of Rock,” and it’s open to any college- or high-school-level musician, regardless of skill level. However, participants should keep in mind that the doors of the library will close at 6:00 p.m. They must therefore arrive on time for the session if they wish to join. There will also be instruments available to borrow during the session, but those who already have their own instruments are asked to bring them if they can.
Any musicians interested in volunteering with the program or who have an instrument they would like to loan or donate to the program can contact Taylor at [email protected] or by calling 563-263-3065, ext. 128.