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INDIANAPOLIS — A local musician is working to change the perception of his neighborhood from a negative place with a lot of crime to a more positive community by sharing his gift and teaching music. 

The Post Road Music School was created inside the Emmanuel Christian Fellowship Church. 

Founder and director of the school Eugene Strader Jr. brings over 50 years of experience from playing the bass.  

Mr. Strader has played alongside some huge legends and performed all over the world. But it’s the Post Road community, the one he grew up in, that he wants to focus on. 

“Just to see the happiness on their faces when they’ve played something when they play an instrument,” said Strader. 

“Music is life. I can’t imagine life without music.” 

Music has taken him to many places. He played all over the world in the Marine Corps band and with big names like R&B legend Al Green. 

“I used to play in a church in San Diego. I got a chance to meet… Walter Hawkins, Shirley Caesar. I got a chance to perform with these people. Keith Pringle,” said Strader. 

He says music has the power to change lives as it did for him. That’s what he wants his new school to do for the Post Road Community. 

“Every time you hear Post Road, on the news, on the TV, the first thing you think about: Who’s shot, who died, or who got stabbed?” 

He wants it to give people new opportunities. 

“Who knows what may come of that. Maybe less crime in the community, maybe somebody’s life was turned around.” 

The students he already has, appreciate what he’s doing 

“I think for my community it means that they can come and learn how to play music, and have fun with the teacher,” said Malik Brown who’s been taking lessons the past 2 months. 

Strader already has some students looking forward to their futures. Like Demetrius Miller, who’s been playing for three months and hopes to keep getting better. 

“It makes me feel good and it makes me feel happy,” said Demetrius. 

“So one day I can play it a lot better so that maybe one day I can play in an orchestra or something like that.” 

Those are goals his teacher supports. 

“They might be nominated for a Grammy award. And for something like that to happen, and it started at Post Road Music Academy, man, that would be awesome,” said Strader. 

Eugene says the first lesson is free and then they can work out costs after that. He doesn’t want price to be a barrier for someone to take lessons. 

Anyone interested in signing up can find more information here