Where there is need, let there be action. Where there are dreams, let there be a path.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything" – Plato
DUETKids provides no-cost musical education, instruments, and digital music creation for at risk, underserved, and low-income students. Through partnerships cultivated within the public school systems, local and historic emergency shelters, and after school programs for at risk populations, DUETKids has created a highly successful model pairing young students (referred by their music teacher within the schools) with high school and college students in our Student Teaching Students Initiative to conduct private musical instruction.
Multiple studies prove that music helps heal trauma and create new brain synapses and connections. By engaging older student teachers with elementary-aged students, DUETkids trains community volunteers and provides multiple opportunities in learning and pedagogy for Pre-K through College students.
Students Teaching Students Initiative
DUETKids partners with a local, award-winning charter school, headed by Kelli Horton, and trains students to teach younger students from at-risk, 100% Title 1 funded, elementary schools to learn how to plan a musical instrument. This program teaches high school students majoring in musical instruments to learn valuable job skills, such as success in the application process and interviewing, in addition to teaching. After training, students are either paid an hourly wage or given community service hours.
The Hitch Village Project
Once of our amazing programs includes giving music lessons to elementary and middle school students at Hitch Village, a historic government housing project in Savannah, Ga. These students rely only on programs the state provides in their schools, so they are not provided the access to one-on-one musical instruction. Hitch Village is a known gang-controlled environment, so DUETkids has offered the children in this project the opportunity for piano lessons and chorus practice. The project runs during the school year and will continue into the fall 2023-spring 2024 semesters. Beyond these weekly after school lessons, DUETkids has inspired the children in Hitch Village to continue their musical learning in more than just piano at the Savannah Jazz Academy.
Partnership with a Local Emergency Shelter
This past winter, DUETkids' student teachers taught at a holiday-themed camp in a local emergency domestic violence shelter. These children were in crisis and transient living situations, and our teachers instructed children ages 6-12 on the basics of piano in order for them to learned holiday songs that they can play anywhere they encounter a piano.
The Hitch Village Project will continue alongside the public school system of Chatham County with weekly Chorus practice. Performances in piano and chorus will be initiated by the end of Spring 2024.
JEA Afterschool program will be an 8 week summer camp with twice weekly lessons serving up to 75 students.
Largo Tibet Elementary School will have virtual lessons for students identified to be in low income, at risk situations referred by the Music Specialist from that school.
Tharros House for Victims of Sex Trafficking opens summer 2023, and in the fall weekly lessons will be implemented for victims living in the shelter for ages 11-18.
DUETKids is less than 3 years old and has already made an enormous impact in at risk, underserved, low income students and in 100% Title 1 schools students.
CEO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Paige Morrison helped create the DUETkids program for at-risk and underserved kids to bring private music lessons for students who may not have the access and opportunity to learn how to play a musical instrument.
As a teacher of 23 years, she has always been an advocate for musical studies. Paige insisted her three children learn piano, as it is the basis of learning a musical instrument. She holds a deep belief in the connection between brain development, cognitive aptitude, and academic success which has been backed by hundreds of studies proving this theory. Paige believes that every student needs musical studies to reach their highest academic achievements. Paired with her background in business and teaching, Paige helped create DUETkids alongside her daughters.
Faith Morrison is the founder of DUETkids, which she started in her junior year of high school for her community service hours. She was already a private music teacher when she approached the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System (SCCPSS) Music Specialist, Mel Whitehead, about teaching underserved students private piano lessons. Mr Whitehead asked if she was willing to teach at inner city schools, and being familiar with this demographic, Faith started teaching hand picked students side by side in the classroom with the music teacher at a 100% Title I Funded elementary school. She began with two students and by the time she graduated the next year, Faith had 40 students on a waiting list for her lessons. DUETkids was created to meet that need in our public schools.
Grace Morrison is a co-founder of DUET Kids, and she currently curates the organization’s social media, assists with grant writing and funding proposals, and instructs piano in DUETkids' programs. She graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in English and a minor in Mass Communication. Growing up, Grace played the piano and violin which kickstarted her love for music and instilled the importance of music in her life. While in college, Grace also worked with the women’s health-based non-profit, IAPMD Global, which solidified her devotion to the nonprofit sector. Her experience with DUET Kids as a piano instructor allowed Grace to see first-hand the impact that the DUETKids’s programs and musical education has on the children that the nonprofit serves.
DIRECTOR OF OUTREACH
James Kirk is a native of Rochester, New York and the founder of the SCCPSS All-City Choral Festival. He earned his Bachelor of Music Concertation Piano Performance from Clark Atlanta University, where he also served as student director and accompanist for the Philharmonic Society. Mr. Kirk earned his Master of Music Concertation Choral Conducting from Georgia Southern University. Mr. Kirk has been teaching music in public schools for over 15 years. During that time, choirs under the direction of Mr. Kirk have place in national choral competitions and received ratings of excellent and superior in local district festivals. Mr. Kirk has been a choir clinician and currently serves as the Minister of Music at Central Missionary Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia.
DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS
Kelli Horton is the Director of Piano, Savannah Arts Academy, Savannah Chatham County Public School, and she is one of our most important members of DUETkids. Kelli joined our mission in September of 2021 and joined the board of DUETkids in January of 2022. Kelly recruits student teachers for our Students Teaching Students Initiative within the school system, has created her own pedagogy for training her students in how to teach at risk, trauma affected students. Kelli spent 4 years traveling to the poorest areas of India/Thailand and other countries and knows first hand how a simple program can change a trauma affected child’s life.
Currently, our student teachers are piano majors at Savannah Arts Academy (unnamed for privacy of minors) under the direction of Kelli Horton SAA Director of Piano and James Kirk SCCPSS New Hampstead Music Teacher.
Nyja is a rising sophomore at the Savannah College of Art and Design. She has redesigned the website and utilizes her passion for graphic design to help DUET Kids across the organization's website and social media.
Sign Up to Teach!
DUET Kids welcomes community teachers and the musical community. We require background checks and safety guidelines to be followed by all of our volunteers and staff to provide a safe community for the children learning in our program.
Help Fund Our Mission!
DUETkids will be working alongside Urban Hope of Savannah, teaching music lessons at their annual summer camp. About 70 kids are expected to participate this summer! Making this possible is done not only by our wonderful staff and volunteers, but also by people like you.