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Our Mission

We create accessible, sustainable, high-quality music programs so every young person can experience the magic of music.

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Music & Youth Initiative was founded in 2004 to partner with youth development organizations serving under-resourced urban communities. We provide partners with multi-year funding and extensive program support to help them create and sustain after-school music programs, which they integrate into their overall program offerings. (Learn more in our Programs and Partnership Opportunities section). 

 

Our programs focus on youth participants in 7th grade and up, and are designed to be a safe place for young people to explore their musical interests. But more importantly, our programs use music as a vehicle to help participants understand and express their emotions, and develop life skills as they move toward adulthood. Our programs are intentionally self-directed and encourage teens to play the music they are interested in. 

 

Music & Youth works closely with each partner to design their program facility and outfit it with the appropriate equipment and gear. We stay with our partners for the long run; creating a community of collaboration, sharing best practices, facilitating professional development, and encouraging a culture of support among all our partners. We continually evaluate current musical trends and changes in technology to ensure our programs remain relevant and attractive to our teen participants.

 

Music & Youth, based in the Boston area, supports youth development partners across the United States. We support the efforts of hundreds of full and part-time staff at our partner organizations, who are all working to bring the magic of music to the teens they serve. Most importantly, thousands of underserved youth each week are learning how to play an instrument, or are writing, recording, and performing their original songs. They are daring to dream about their future, building confidence for a better life!

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About Us

 
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Programs and Partnership Opportunities

Music Clubhouse

The Music Clubhouse program uses contemporary music like Hip-Hop, Rap, R&B, Pop, Latin, etc., and contemporary equipment like Music Production workstations and rhythm section instruments to engage teen participants.

 

Programming includes: 
Music Production | Beat-Making | Instrument Workshops | Bands and Collaborations | performances |
and much more! 

Mobile Studio

The Mobile Studio program provides youth participants with everything they need to make beats and record on the go!  This is an ideal solution for organizations that would like to introduce music programming in multiple buildings or shared space locations. 

 

Programming includes: 

Studio Recording | Music Production | Lyric Writing | Podcasts | Digital Arts | and more! 

Digital Production Studio

The Digital Production Studio program focuses on helping participants create digital content using iPads, computers, and industry-standard software. Participants express themselves through technology, beat-making, music videos, podcasts, and more. 

 

Programming includes: 

Studio Recording | Music Production | Lyric Writing | Podcasts | Digital Arts | and more! 

Catalyst Innovation Grant

One-time grants to support new or existing innovative programs that use music as a vehicle for youth development. Requests are open on a rolling basis and do not have specific space or staffing requirements. 

 

Grants ranging from $2,500 – $10,000 will be considered based on the strength of your application, follow-up discussions, and possible visits with your organization.

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Music & Youth Initiative also provides free resources for Non-Profit Music Programs. We have curated over 150 highly impactful programs and tools.

 
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Impact Stories

Teen Discovers the Universal Language of Music

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Studying the guitar changed Chi’s life by giving him an escape from racism, language barriers, and the challenges of being an outsider.

 

 

Contact Us

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Gary Eichhorn

Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer

In a career spanning more than 40 years, Gary has been a CEO,  senior executive, board member, and investor in a number of technology and medical device companies. Gary is an amateur jazz guitarist and a fervent believer in the power of music through the positive impact it has had on his life. As co-founder of Music & Youth in 2004, he brings his experience in management and strategic partnerships to the organization. Gary is also a gadget guy and has never met a cable he doesn’t love!  He is always looking for the next new piece of gear or technology to keep the Music Clubhouse relevant and ensure the teens have access to the latest and greatest.  He holds an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Colgate University and attended the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.

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Joan Eichhorn

Co-founder and Chief Financial Officer

Joan is motivated by her ever-present soft spot for the “underdog”.  She comes from a social services background, but also worked many years as a CPA. She has uniquely blended her heart (social work) and her head (CPA) to co-found and grow Music & Youth. She professes to have no musical talent and jokes that her instrument is the iPhone.  She keeps the rest of us from straying too deeply into the music and focuses us on our primary goal of youth development. Joan holds an undergraduate degree in Social Services from Syracuse University and a master's degree in Accountancy from Bentley College.

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David Bickel

Associate Executive Director

David was previously the Music Clubhouse Coordinator for the Lawrence Music Clubhouse, our first Clubhouse. He is a professional drummer and performing artist who holds an undergraduate degree in Contemporary Writing and Production from the Berklee College of Music and a masters degree in  Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University. David’s education as both a musician and a nonprofit manager gives him a broad set of skills to understand both the musical and business sides of the organizations that we partner with. When he is not drumming on a steering wheel or tapping on a table he is creating programs, working with Music Clubhouse staff and their management, and building key relationships that ensure that each Clubhouse is successful.  David is always there for every one of our Clubhouse Coordinators!

Music & Youth Initiative would like to thank its corporate and university partners as well as our foundation support for their role in the continuing success of our programs!