For Detroit teen, violin provides direction and hope

Posted on: June 11, 2013

In Monday’s (6/10) Detroit News (Michigan), Shawn D. Lewis writes about Grandearmere Burton, one of eight children whose family was formerly homeless. At the Detroit School of the Arts, “The ninth-grader, who’s 15, studies chamber strings, concert orchestra and music theory, in addition to core subjects. ‘I love math and want to go to college to major in business management and become an actuary,’ he said. ‘But I also want to continue playing violin.’ … He learned to play violin a year ago in a program at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen in east Detroit…. When [Burton’s mother, Tinesha] Flowers heard of the Capuchin violin program, ‘I enrolled my youngest kids because I wanted to expose them to finer things I couldn’t offer them,’ she said…. The family’s two youngest children—[5-year-old] Jewyral and 9-year-old Recartorise—played last month at Orchestra Hall in a program for music students.… Besides [Clara] Hardie [Grandarmeare’s violin teacher], Grandearmere is guided by Sean Smith, his orchestra instructor at the Detroit School of Arts.… Smith said the teen has potential…. ‘Group lessons are great, but private lessons are even better…. We’re always trying to get sponsors to help ease the burden, or even to sponsor them for free lessons.’ ”

Photo of Grandearmere Burton by David Guralnick / The Detroit News

Posted June 11, 2013