The City of Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department now offers a free after-school music program for junior and high school students.
The program takes place at the Abel Maldonado Community Youth Center, located at 600 South McClelland Street.
The new program takes place on Mondays through Thursdays from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Local music teacher Joe Payne leads the program with group lessons in guitar, ukulele, keyboard, and hand drums.
The program begins with teaching about the basics like chords and scales, and evolves into opportunities for collaborations via "jam" sessions that combine multiple instruments.
"Some kids dream about guitars, others drum on pots and pans, and then there's the aspiring concert pianists, but they all need a chance to learn and play," Payne said. "I hope to help local kids discover exactly what kind of musician they are, build the skills to play for themselves, but also together, to start bands and write songs."
Questions may be directed to the Recreation and Parks Department at (805) 925-0951 extension 2260.