Every week, about 20 young students accompanied by parents meet at the Samaritan Center on Conner near I-94 where they participate in group lessons. Clara Hardie, the organization's program director and founder, instructs the Saturday classes with fellow teacher and operations director Allison Harris and two part-time volunteers.
Astarria Lewis, 9, attends weekly classes with her 16-year-old sister Ashley Ardis, the only viola player of the group, and she's thrilled to be there. "This is a really cool and fun program," she says. "I always like learning how to play [my instrument]. I like my teachers. I like talking to my friends."
Detroit Youth Volume (DYV) began five years ago when Hardie was tutoring and teaching art therapy as a program assistant for the Rosa Parks Children and Youth Program at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. An Upper Peninsula native, Hardie developed the class as a mashup of her activist ideals and own upbringing in Marquette, where she studied the Suzuki Method with her mom and continued with violin lessons until she was 18.
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