SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Caffè Lena’s School of Music has received a generous $15,000 grant from Stewart’s Shops/Dake Family to support the program. The school of music gathers children who have a passion for music and “take them from preschool to professional,” claims Executive Director Sarah Craig.

Susan Dake, President of the Stewart’s Foundation comments, “Caffè Lena has been a tremendous asset for many aspiring musicians and Stewart’s Shops/Dake Family are proud to support this important educational initiative.” The school of music features a five-to-one student-teacher ratio, with additional volunteers to help all the children keep up with the group. Caffè Lena explains the funds from Stewart’s Shops/Dake Family will keep tuition affordable, as well as underwrite the free toddler program and a need-based scholarship program that supports approximately twenty-five percent of the students.

Vivian Nesbitt, Director of the Caffe Lena School of Music explains, “The Caffè Lena School of Music is different because folk music is essentially social. Our students learn and play in small, friendly groups and master a repertoire that they can play by ear. It trains them to listen closely, keep their eye on others, develop flexibility and improvisation, and work to make the whole group sound good. These are all valuable life skills that set the stage for social and academic success,” “We’re deeply grateful for the forward-thinking support of Stewart’s Shops/Dake Family,” adds Nesbitt. “This is just one more way that they are improving the quality of life for local families. Thanks to their donation, we’ll be building the audience and artists that will carry our American music tradition forward into the future.”