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The Break teen center gets a music room makeover

Several volunteers helped make improvements to The Break, a teen center in Crystal Lake.

Visiting to help restring some guitars at The Break teen center in Crystal Lake, musician Jeff Schwertfeger wanted to do more.

His brother, Jim Schwertfeger, manages the center, and Jeff, a drummer who toured with the band Five Finger Death Punch last year, had returned home for a visit, planning to fly right back to Las Vegas. Instead, he delayed his flight and called some of his musician friends from throughout the area.

They worked through the night and into the week to completely revamp the center’s music room.

“All of a sudden, it was turned into a professional studio setting,” Jim Schwertfeger said.

He and Brenda Napholz, the center’s founder and president, couldn’t believe what they saw. The room went from disarray to amazing, they said.

All on their own time and money, the group of musicians, along with a few teens who use the center, repainted the entire room, replaced and updated some of the older instruments and recording equipment and added some sound buffering. 

Some of the musicians involved in the revamp even gave some free music lessons to the teens.

Along with instruments, such as guitars, drums and a keyboard, the room has a microphone and computer recording program for vocalists. 

The nonprofit center at 6292 Route 14 in Crystal Lake has had a music room since it opened in 2014 as a safe place for teens to connect, hang out and make friends. The center – – also has a “zen room,” complete with a hammock, couch and bean bag chair, and a recreation room with pool tables, a TV with a gaming system, a projector wall and more.

The music room had been used nonstop the first three years after the center opened, but hadn’t

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