News Release

Music Grant Improves Gospel Worship

We have the keyboards---if you have the desire to play in church

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published the "Basic Music Course" in 1993 where senior missionaries were using it to teach music around the world with the goal of preparing individuals to serve in the Church.  Nineteen years later, in 2012, The Jack and Wauna Harman Foundation joined forces with the Church to provide keyboards for use in the program.


Sister Colman, a former senior missionary and Harman Grant keyboard instructor who recently served in Kuala Lumpur said, “The Harman Grant has blessed so many with the gift of music. It was rewarding to be a small part of their generous gift. I made some very dear friends that I will always love and remember and am happy they can now enjoy their new talent. Thank you Harman family!”

A mother and former student, Annie Teh from the Puchong Branch in Malaysia, expressed her gratitude by saying, "Sister Colman left a legacy of love and sacrifice.  Because of her many hours of service teaching 'Harman Keyboard' to me and others, I can now play the piano and lead music in Church with confidence." 

The Harman Grant was created by J.R. (Jack) and Wauna O. Harman. They decided to establish a Music Education Fund to provide keyboards and teaching materials throughout the world so that those who cannot afford to pay for lessons or instruments can have the opportunity to learn conducting and keyboard skills.  This is not only to benefit the students, but to provide conducting and accompaniment in Church meetings, thus enhancing the Spirit and reverence in the meetings.  Those who receive the training should also teach others in return to pass on the blessings.

This year alone, as of September, the Church has sent 465 keyboards and 782 kits to members around the world.  Since 2012, members of the Church from 92 different countries around the world have started to become musically self-reliant so that their congregations can enjoy the gift of music long after the senior missionary leave.

Senior missionary Sister Dustin, serving in Kuala Lumpur explained, “I knew I had a little more skill than those who were completing the keyboard course.  I see my main role as being the administrator of the program. The students have become the teachers, and that is just as it should be.  My involvement in this program is one of the most gratifying aspects of our mission." 

East Malaysia senior missionaries, Sisters Waite, Magleby, Harrison and Moss have taught the Harman Keyboard program throughout their missions blessing homes and branches with music.

When there is a need and someone to teach, like a senior missionary or local member, keyboards can be requested by the mission, stake or area.  Upon completion of the conducting course, several students may be chosen to take the keyboard course, usually no more than five to six at a time. The individual taking the keyboard class must sign an agreement that the keyboard is a loan from the unit, that he will attend lessons, practice faithfully and return the materials at the completion of the class.

A student who has completed the keyboard course can complete the Music Education Fund grant application to be able to receive a keyboard to keep so that he can continue to practice, improve his skills, serve in the Church and teach others.  Approval is dependent upon his financial need and recommendation from his teacher, bishop, and stake president.

The goal of the program is for the students to learn basic skills well enough to provide keyboard accompaniment for hymns in their meetings.  But the benefits extend far beyond keyboard ability.  Learning to play is increasing self-confidence, inviting the Spirit into homes and Church meeting, and blessing individuals and families.

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