muscle house set to strengthen young students through music lessons

The musCLE house may not be a gym or cable-access bodybuilding show, but it does give Cleveland students the opportunity to flex their musical talents in exchange for a bit of their free time.

Students taking part in the program receive one hour of free music lessons in exchange for volunteering one hour toward philanthropic involvement or community service, says musCLE house co-founder Eric Kogelschatz.

The Detroit native created the program with his wife Hallie Bram Kogelschatz and Cleveland Institute of Music alums Ariel Clayton and Carlos Javier. The musCLE house works with students from Cleveland Municipal School District, although its co-founder would like to expand the program to other districts.

"Music is a basic building block of intelligence," Kogelschatz explains. Due to school districts cutting music programs, "not enough young people have exposure to it."

The musCLE house launched its fundraising campaign this week. Kogelschatz aims to raise $55,000 over the next two months to finance more than 600 hours of music lessons from paid instructors, along with the procurement of instruments, sheet music and more.

With its volunteerism aspect, the program has the tenet of community building at its core, says Kogelschatz. Adding music to the mix is a bonus for the Shaker Heights resident, who grew up playing the saxophone and clarinet.

"We're encouraging kids to get involved with their communities," he says. "Students get to see the change taking place around them, and they're getting a reward."

SOURCE: Eric Kogelschatz
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth
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