Military News

Friday, March 13, 2015

New music room opens for Airmen to jam, make friends

by Gina Randall
100th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

3/12/2015 - RAF MILDENHALL, England  -- The Bob Hope Community Center opened a new music room located in the former Information, Tickets and Travel office, expanding the existing music program in hopes of improving the base community.

"The idea is to increase the number of people participating in our current music lessons," said David Hymer, 100th Force Support Squadron community services flight chief from Elmer, New Jersey. "Prior to moving here, we had violin and piano lessons in a very small room not much larger than a closet. The room would only accommodate the piano, the instructor and one student. Now we are hoping we can offer private, as well as group classes."

Hymer hopes the new room will encourage Airmen to socialize in a safe place.

"We're trying to get the young Airmen out of the dorms," Hymer added. "We want them to use this as an opportunity to use the musical instruments in the room, and have jamming sessions and things of that nature."

Airmen can use the room privately with a group of their friends at a time that suits them, while also using other services the community center provides.

"The room will be reserved specifically for lessons. Outside of that, Airmen can call and reserve the room, check out the key at the front desk and play any instrument they desire," Hymer said. "We are trying to create another area Airmen can hang out and socialize in. We lost some of our footprint when we moved the Arts and Crafts Center in to the BHCC -- this kind of gives a little back, especially for our young Airmen in the dormitories."

The BHCC staff hopes people use the room, make the most of it and even make new friends who have similar interests.

"We want people to enjoy the room," Hymer said. "It's tough living in a dorm. Especially if you enjoy music and you can't really play it without potentially being an annoyance to your neighbor. So this is something that will hopefully provide an opportunity for Airmen who enjoy music, and an outlet to play. There could be some great relationships built here too."

The room is not just for dormitory or active-duty Airmen; all are welcome.

"The music lessons are open to anyone -- people can sign up through the BHCC," Hymer explained. "We are soliciting someone to teach guitar lessons with the intent of growing that program. We provide flute lessons on Mondays as well."

The BHCC was granted approval for funding the new space aiming to create a safe environment where people can enjoy their existing hobby or create a new one. One way Hymer cut back costs was by using existing equipment.

"We got the instruments from our contractor who supplies all the musical instruments for the BHCC," the flight chief said. "We got our funding from the Single Airmen Funding Program -- a pot of money we receive to offer discounted programs to Airmen. Part of that program permits us to buy equipment as well. We had the drums, but we added a few more things."

The room is ready for use and participants are already using the new space.

"We started having music lessons in here about a week ago and the instructors are absolutely raving about it being such a better setting for them, and they're getting great feedback from parents," Hymer said. "Now parents can sit in here while their children are participating in lessons, or just sit right outside in close proximity to their children."

For more information, or to reserve the room, contact the BHCC at DSN 238-2152, or commercial at 01638 542152.

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