In pursuit of advancing to the ultimate status of Eagle Scout, William Hinson combined his passion for music with a way to make an impact in his community.
After collaborating with Tannis Lambert, the director of educational programming for PAWS for Reflection Ranch, the idea of a therapeutic music wall was settled.
And Hinson ran with it.
Once the project was established, Hinson’s responsibility was to lead his troop members to build the idea of the music wall he thoroughly designed.
“Music is a big part of my life, and I was thinking if I was more invested into my project then I could be inspired and create a better project oppose to making benches and chairs, which a lot of scouts do,” he elaborated.
The entire project took slightly over a month to complete but was well worth the time. Lambert compared the finalized scheme to the other activities PAWS has spread out in their wooded areas.
“I think he did a fabulous job,” Lambert expressed. “It will be one of the big features out there, and for the counseling programs especially. I think that will be invaluable to kids feeling out their emotions and dealing with things.”
The primary instrument on the music wall is a xylophone, which is made up of PVC pipes, which just so happens to be the first instrument that drew Hinson to music.
“I had seen PVC pies xylophones before but never really in tuned but just to make noise,” Hinson explained. “I thought it would be a fun twist to make it in a C major scale, which is what most children’s songs are in.”
Music sheets of simple songs like, “Baa, Baa Black Sheep” and “Mary had a Little Lamb” are available to rotate through on the music wall. The sheet music is easy to read with the color-coded instructions matching the color-coordinated PVC pipes.
He also added the pots and pans, giving the music wall a rustic, homemade look. “It’s also just fun because every pot and pan makes a different noise and they are loud and people like hitting things,” he said.
Hinson mentioned that he granted creative freedom to his troop members on painting the pans.
Hinson has a passion for guitar and even plays in the local band, Share the Road, who often performs at Lighthouse Coffee. On the music wall, he incorporated a string that symbolized a slide guitar. When strumming the E string from a nylon guitar, the sound resonates with the wood, creating a louder tune.
“I knew I couldn’t make a whole guitar because it would never stay in tuned being outside and it would be hard to play on a wall,” Hinson explained.
“My hope for the music wall is that some of the kids to be coordinated enough to make a song together, like with one person on the drums, the other playing the xylophone and one’s on the wall guitar,” Hinson imagined out loud.
Being that he couldn’t physically work on the project himself and instead had to direct his troop members, communication was the only obstacle he had to overcome. Hinson explained how the final product was more thought out than throwing junk on a wall to beat on. Hinson said he knew what elements of music he wanted to incorporate.
Lambert elaborated on the purpose of the music wall saying, “Sometimes the students aren’t as comfortable in nature because they aren’t exposed to it. So this is another additional incentive to get them back there. I think once they discover that they can just have fun and play. You know, a positive experience.”
Lambert admitted that the entire staff at PAWS was impressed with Hinson from the get-go. “You can tell that this is a young man who’s going to make a difference in the world,” she said.
Hinson is part of Troop 512 in Midlothian and has been involved in scouts since he was in the first grade. He is also a student at The School of Science and Engineering at Townview, located in Dallas. The 17-year-old plans to attend college and to graduate with an engineering degree and continue his education studying law.
Hinson will have his board review in the next couple of weeks in hopes of advancing his status to Eagle Scout.