Oakland’s F.A.C.E.S. program is music to young ears

Music teacher Bobby Eddings knows it’s not hard to get a kid to pick up sticks and start pounding out a rhythm on the drums.

In fact, he could barely get little Sadiq Hasan, 7, to stop tapping the snare and pinging the cymbals on a recent Sunday after service at the East Bay Church of Religious Science in Oakland’s Temescal district.

“I’m really good — listen!” Sadiq said, pounding again with unbeatable enthusiasm.

Passion is certainly key, but it takes a practiced hand to hone discipline and technique so the activity is not just a matter of noise. With training, playing an instrument becomes a valued lifetime skill, a creative outlet, a platform for self-confidence and poise.

Such are the goals of Oakland’s F.A.C.E.S program (Family, Art, Community, Education, Spirituality), a nonprofit arm of the church that offers free weekly drum and bass guitar lessons for children and teens who may not be able to afford private music instruction otherwise.

F.A.C.E.S. has received funding this year from Share the Spirit, an annual holiday campaign to benefit needy residents in the East Bay. The grant is administered by the Contra Costa Crisis Center, and donations support programs of 40 nonprofit agencies in Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

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