Club Experience Blog post by the Boys & Girls Clubs of America
October 17, 2018
October 17, 2018
When professional bass player, Geena Spigarelli, considered what she might do while on break from touring this summer, she considered a number of things. Then she recalled how fulfilled she felt when she was a music mentor with Kids in a New Groove (KING), an Austin-based organization that provides free, private music instruction to youth living in foster care.
“I reached out to KING Executive Director, Laura Wood,” Geena says, “And we came up with the idea for a brand new Summer Music Camp.”
It was sure to be a success— if only Geena could figure out what to do for whole a whole week with 20 kids, many who were living in a group home and had no prior music experience.
Boston MA, July 19, 2018— The Music & Youth Initiative’s Youth Leader Program, which provides workforce development opportunities for teens who have demonstrated excellence and leadership potential in their after-school Music Clubhouse programs, recently received a $25,000 grant from Bank of America. With this generous support from Bank of America, teens are getting opportunities to mentor younger members while gaining valuable work experience, including organizational, administrative, and professional skills.
High school senior and recent Youth Leader, Monte, is one outstanding recipient of this opportunity. Monte was thrilled to find out recently that he earned his spot at Berklee College of Music – full tuition paid for. Those who know him well aren’t at all surprised: Monte is the complete package. Not only does he have musical expertise, but he has shown exceptional character and maturity in his position as Youth Leader at the Boys & Girls Club.
Music & Youth has proudly partnered with the Hyde Square Task Force, a leading community organization in Jamaica Plain, Boston, for over 10 years. In their own words: “Our work is guided by our mission: to develop the skills of youth and their families, so they are empowered to enhance their own lives and build a strong and vibrant community.”
“It’s really not about the music. It’s about the kids and their development and their growth. Music is what gets them in.”
It’s a typical afternoon at West End House, a Boys & Girls Club in Boston, where a cacophony of drumbeats competes with the sound of dribbling basketballs and fitness classes. “This is a relief of stress for me,” a 17-year-old enthuses over the din. Rapping and performing on the drums, bass guitar and keyboard “is how I express my feelings and get everything out. It gives you that confidence that you can do whatever you want to do.”
That’s the idea behind this Music Clubhouse and 17 additional ones in Massachusetts, Texas and Georgia. They’re part of a network being built by a retired tech executive and amatuer jazz guitarist as a way to draw in teenagers vulnerable to other temptations, who often drift away from youth centers like West End House and the other services they offer. “It’s really not about the music. It’s about the kids and their development and their growth. Music is what gets them in,” says Gary Eichhorn, that former CEO.
Wyclef Jean’s musical praise hits high note for Lowell High School junior
LOWELL — Brian Terrero-Batista starts finger-picking and percussion- tapping his guitar on stage.
Wyclef Jean — the three-time Grammy award winner — bobs his head, swaying back and forth.
He’s catching a vibe from the 17-year-old Lowell High School junior.
“Everyone always says they think it (the unique strumming and tapping) is so cool, and then Wyclef hears it and goes wide-eyed,” Terrero- Batista recalls from last week. “That was pretty awesome.” After jamming out and talking about music at UMass Lowell last Thursday, the pop superstar handed the high schooler VIP tickets to his show in Boston later that night.
Boston MA, November 20, 2017 — The Music & Youth Initiative is pleased to announce that in 2017, it contributed $430,000 in grants, equipment, and support services to 12 Youth Development Organizations in Massachusetts, Texas, and Georgia in support of their after-school music programs. Continue reading
Boston MA, August 9, 2017 — The Music & Youth Initiative is pleased to announce receiving a generous grant from SheGives after being selected to be on their 2017 slate of nonprofit organizations.
SheGives is a Boston-based private foundation that connects committed, inquisitive donors to a broad portfolio of vetted philanthropies around Greater Boston. The vetting process ensures that SheGives members can choose to make donations to or become involved with a slate of organizations that meet a high set of financial and operational standards.
Picture this: 100 teens from different cities and different backgrounds, all with a shared love of music, together backstage in one of Boston’s most storied performance venues. They’re nervous but incredibly excited as they hold guitars in their hands or give their song-lyrics one last look. They can hear hundreds of audience members taking their seats. They deserve this. They’ve worked so hard for months. They’re about to step onto the Berklee Performance Center Stage and show their peers and family members– and themselves– all they’ve accomplished, musically and personally. Continue reading
Boston MA, June 13, 2017— When 17-year-old Nicolas stepped on the Berklee Performance Center stage on May 5, it wasn’t just as a musician. He was there as a leader and mentor, a culmination of his hard work as a Youth Leader in his Boys & Girls Club’s Music Clubhouse. The event was the Music Clubhouse Showcase, where 100 youth from 14 Music & Youth Music Clubhouses took the stage to perform. Youth Leaders were at the heart of these performances, helping in preparation and organization, behind the scenes and on stage.
The Music & Youth Initiative’s Youth Leader Program, which provides workforce development opportunities for teens who have demonstrated excellence and leadership potential in their after-school Music Clubhouse programs, recently received a $25,000 grant from Bank of America. With this generous support from Bank of America, underserved teens like Nicolas are developing life and career skills and becoming leaders in their local communities. Continue reading