Project CHEER (Creative Help through Enrichment and Educational Resources) is a Schubert Club program that offers free piano, guitar, and rhythm lessons to students who are not otherwise able to prioritize private music instruction.
Lessons are 15 minutes long and usually shared between two students. Students are able to take two lessons on each instrument a week. Students are also welcome to practice on our extra keyboards before or after their scheduled lessons. Other music classes are occasionally available throughout the year.
Project CHEER has been operating at the Hallie Q. Brown/Martin Luther King Center since 1969. Project CHEER’s activities grew out of a Schubert Club program that started in 1911 at the West Side Neighborhood House. Project CHEER acquired its name and its focus from Prentice Harris, former music director at the Hallie Q. Brown Center, who was the program’s first director.
Honoring Joanna Kirby
Each year since 2000, Schubert Club has given its An die Musik award to honor a classical music enthusiast whose outstanding dedication and commitment over many years has significantly furthered the work and mission of the Schubert Club.
In 2015, the award was given to Joanna Kirby, who was about to enter her 25th year as Director of Project CHEER. Project CHEER began as an after-school music lesson program in 1969, and has continued to provide free and affordable music tuition in specific St. Paul neighborhoods, continuing a tradition which goes back to 1911.
Joanna is adored and respected by students, families and all involved. Assisted by 2 supporting teachers, Joanna teaches just over 100 kids in piano and guitar.