COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Summer is coming to a close for students across central Ohio. The summer wasn’t wasted for 18 kids ages 8 to 16 in the Linden community.

They took advantage of a summer music program at the Linden Community Center, which culminated with a concert in front of friends and family Wednesday evening.

“They work so hard and they’re so positive and they’re so supportive of each other. It’s really exciting to see them on stage and to see them blossom,” said Jen Miller, one of several music teachers who donates their time and professional expertise to the kids. And they do it for free.

“Some of these kids would not be able to afford lessons,” Miller said. “At the end of the day, it matters that we have kiddos who are able to have instruments that otherwise might not be able to or able to have lessons together.”

For two days a week all summer, students committed their time to learning to play an instrument, sing, and work together as a team with their bandmates. They formed two bands: The Rubber Band and Las Diez Titanes.

Nine-year-old Kaedyn Abbington sings with Las Diez Titanes, a group made up of 10 students. She said she’s been singing for years, but this was her first shot on the big stage.

“I saw a lot of people and they were brave enough to do it, and I was never brave enough to do it,” she said. “So I was like, ‘Maybe give it a shot.’ I sing a lot at home. My sister gets sick of it because I scream so loud.”

Her big sister is right there with her on stage, too.

“Knowing I have my sister playing bass guitar, I feel very happy,” Abbington said.

Fourteen-year-old Luna Sabillon is learning to play the bass and already plays guitar and sings with Las Diez Titanes. She said she’s learning much more than just music through the program. It’s giving her confidence to go into her first year of high school.

“I’ve learned definitely how to be more responsible,” she said. “I’ve learned all my responsibilities. And I learned how to be a little more confident. Since I used to not be that confident. I did learn how to be responsible and confident.”

Nine-year-old Donnelle “DJ” Ramsey said he saw someone playing the guitar on TV and he knew it was the instrument for him.

“It just spoke out to me,” Ramsey said. “I just felt a passion for it. It just like, it just went in my mind.”

They’ll continue the program in September after taking a month off, but the smiles on their faces showed how much they accomplished this summer, and Miller agreed.

“Growing friendships and teaching them to work together and to listen to each other. I think it’s really life-changing,” she said.