Talented Teen Becomes Performer, Leader, Teacher

Jay_image001_imgsizeJay was chosen for his position because of his musical expertise and the initiative he displayed early on to teach and mentor younger Music Clubhouse participants.

Jay’s passion for playing guitar began at age 12 in Santiago, Dominican Republic, where he lived at the time. He found a mentor in the public park who taught him all types of guitar styles, including rock, punk, merengue, classical, and jazz.

Live performance in the Dominican Republic, May 2014

Live performance in the Dominican Republic, May 2014

When Jay moved to the United States in 2014, his cousin introduced him to the Music Clubhouse, and he immediately fit right in. Sharing a common love of music, Jay says, “I made a lot of friends with musicians who were my age.”

Opportunities quickly came for Jay to perform and exercise his talent. He practiced with other Clubhouse participants, formed several small ensembles, and performed at Music Clubhouse community events. Furthermore, Jay volunteered as an assistant guitar and drum instructor, all within his first year at the Clubhouse. According to Jay, the Music Clubhouse became “a second home for me.”

The opportunities for Jay have only expanded since then. He is the vanguard of the Music Clubhouse’s hottest new band, “La4ence,” a 4-piece ensemble that performs at Clubhouse shows and at local and regional events.

Recently, in addition to being enrolled as a senior in the Business, Management & Finance program at his local public high school, Jay has been selected as the Music Clubhouse’s new Youth Leader. According to the Music Clubhouse Director, Jay was chosen for this position because of “his musical expertise, the initiative he displayed early on to teach and mentor younger Music Clubhouse participants, his professional demeanor, his respectful and warm personality, and his fluency in Spanish and English.”

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Performance at the John Hancock Building in Boston, March 2014

Jay is clearly qualified for his role as Youth Leader in every way, and he immediately showed how deserving he was by “bolstering all of our lesson plans with his mindful and patient teaching style,” says the Music Clubhouse Director.

Jay reaffirms how great this experience has been for him. “I look forward to going to the Music Clubhouse because I can play music, help teach younger musicians, practice with my band, perform at concerts in the community, and just hang out and have a good time with my friends. Music is an important part of my life. I love to play and always will. Music is my life.”