Burnsville Music Teacher Surprised with $35,000 Worth of Donated Instruments

December 09, 2016 09:16 AM

Music teacher Ann Bakken stood in front of her eighth-grade band class Thursday at Nicollet Middle School. With the students' complete attention, she raised her hands and motioned for them to begin playing. They may have sounded like an eighth-grade band, but in time she will have them in tip-top shape.

This past fall, Bakken told the school's resource officer and friend, Beverly Price, that she was worried she would not be able to provide enough instruments to her students.

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"There was a time where there was two or three weeks we were practicing without drumsticks. Some of these kids had nothing for their hands and it just bothered me," she said.

And a number of instruments she does have are 45 years old and in bad shape.

Without Bakken knowing, Price contacted the Barry Manilow Foundation's "Manilow Music Project." The project donates instruments and materials to school music programs.

"They came through with being able to provide Bakken with all the instruments she needed," Price said.

At the school's band concert Dec. 1, Price surprised Bakken with new instruments worth $35,000.

"It still makes me tear up because it's really cool. I'm really passionate about what I do and I want kids to be able to play if they want to play," Bakken said.

Bakken says she's thankful to Price for helping her and the kids make sweet music.


Todd Wilson

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