Serenade your “sweetie” this Valentine’s Day without saying a word

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    Chords for Kids members typically perform songs for children in hospitals or in classrooms with special needs. But once a year, as a fundraiser, the group will personally serenade your sweetheart.

    “Songs for your Sweetie” is an annual fundraising event hosted by the TCU’s Chords for Kids organization. All proceeds earned from the fundraiser benefit the group and are what enable the volunteer-based organization to continue on. 

    It costs five dollars to send a personal serenade to your loved one, friend or even professor. The group provides a varied list of 25 songs to choose from including classics like, “Can you Feel the Love Tonight” by Elton John, or even more recent country hits like “Love Story” by Taylor Swift. However, if none suffice, the group can learn a new tune upon request for an additional five dollars..

    Trevor Swanson, Chords for Kids President, said that last year they only charged one dollar extra for custom songs, but realized afterwords that this price undervalued the effort that was required to learn a completely new song in time for the event. 

    Song deliveries this year will begin on Wednesday, and will continue on and throughout Valentine’s Day this Friday. 

    Swanson said that this is the group’s only fundraising event, which makes it even more important.

    “It’s our only fundraiser for Chords for Kids so it has had a lot of effect on how we’ve been able to continue the organization and support ourselves throughout all the expenses we encounter along our time performing,” Swanson said. 

    Michael Zeiser, the Chords for Kids vice president, said he thinks the fundraiser is a great deal.

    “It’s a cheap way of getting your valentine a gift, obviously,” Zeiser said. “I mean, how often can you pay five dollars and have a musical performance with all kinds of details that you can just make up?”

    Last year the group delivered around 65 song-grams, raising about $600 in just 3 days. 

    “It’s a big group effort, and requires a lot of time, but it supports us for the whole year for buying whatever new instruments we might need,” Zeiser said. “T-shirts, kazoos, things like that.” 

    For the music, for the kids 

    When they are not singing love songs to lucky Horned Frogs, Chords for Kids members perform primarily at local hospitals and special-needs schools, Swanson said, because of the many benefits the power of music has to offer to the children.

    “The music gives them a break from their routine and allows them to get excited, sing-along, shake maracas, and dance with one another,” Swanson said. “They look forward to [us] coming to play every week, and we hope our presence will turn them on to music beyond the weekly performance in the classroom.”
     

    Rebecca Hawthorne, the group’s volunteer coordinator, said became involved with the organization because she grew up in a musical family. 

    Hawthorne said she began playing the piano at age five and has always enjoyed sharing her passion for music with kids. 

    “Volunteering has always been a part of my life and I can’t think of a better combination than bringing joy and happiness to children through music,” Hawthorne said.

    Swanson agreed. He said that music has had an immense impact on his life and is happy he has the ability to share it with others.

    “I don’t think I would be where I am today without music, and so the idea of sharing that with other people is really appealing to me because I know that it could be just as powerful for them as it was for me,” Swanson said. “[It’s] cool to share with kids, get them started young.”

    He said there is nothing more rewarding than watching the smiles form on the kid’s faces when the group enters the room. Zeiser agreed. 

    “Kinder Frogs is another very regular place and the kids, they just love it. And playing there…I just love seeing the kid’s enjoying the music, and its fun for us too,” Zeiser said.

    For more information about the “Songs for your Sweetie” event, see their event page on Facebook.

    Chords for Kids meets at 8 p.m. every Monday in Ed Landreth 113. The organization is open to all TCU students and faculty members, including those who don’t play an instrument.