A new nonprofit in Sonoma County is providing free music lessons to children in Santa Rosa who were affected by the fire.
Noelle Nicholson and Robb Ringwald started the nonprofit SoCo Music Coalition in September with the goal of providing music lessons to any interested child, "regardless of their circumstances." They also provide a instrument lending library so financial circumstances won't be an issue for their students.
The coalition focuses on teenagers and pre-teens (ages 8-17), providing them with music lessons as well as a community. The school uses a "band format" to teach their students how to play, having them form groups with other students -- the same system used by various Schools of Rock.
Nicholson says that their program can be therapeutic for teens having a hard time. Concentrating on a new skill, especially one that's artistic, can provide a distraction for kids who might need attention that parents can't provide.