What We Do

Open mic 2“We create and support Music Clubhouses; vibrant, sustainable and free after school music education programs.”

Our Music Clubhouses program provides instruments and staffing for free music lessons. The Clubhouses are run by leading youth development organizations serving economically underserved urban communities.  These organizations not only provide music but a portfolio of wrap-around services which can include hot meals, homework help, college prep and workforce development.

We focus on underserved urban teens and pre-teens.

Music is a vehicle to attract urban teens to these safe after school programs where they have the opportunity to experience personal, academic and social growth through the joy of music.   We believe strongly that every young person should have the opportunity to learn and express themselves by making music, yet in our urban schools music is in short supply.

We leverage strong existing community-based organizations.

Throughout Massachusetts there are many strong programs that support after-school youth development – Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCA’s and independent Youth Development Organizations.  However, very few have historically offered  any music programs – even though access to contemporary music education  is the top requested  program among their teen populations. These same organizations often struggle to attract and retain teens at a time in their lives when they are most vulnerable to negative outside influences.

So why is there such a disconnect?  Simply put, they don’t have the expertise or financial resources  to create and run a contemporary teen based music program.

In a nutshell, this is the problem our Music Clubhouse program addresses…making it possible for established and successful  youth development organizations to create sustainable vibrant music programs which become an integral part of their organization and can meet the needs of their communities.

We collaborate with colleges, universities and corporations

Our University partners, through work-study, coop and fellowship programs, provide valuable staffing for the clubhouses.  These college students become an integral part of the staff,  teaching classes and become mentors and role models for the clubhouse members.  Our corporate partners also have a critical role to play in donating equipment and funding for our Music Clubhouses.

Tying it all together

This analogy might help define the roles of the various collaborators.

Imagine the Music Clubhouse program is a car.  It is purchased with funds from both the Youth Development Organization and Music & Youth, but the car is owned by the Youth Development Organization.  When the Youth Development Organization starts driving the car (begins the program) Music & Youth is in the front seat – with a passenger side steering wheel and brake – helping the Youth Development Organization every step of the way.

Soon the Youth Development Organization learns to “drive the car” by themselves. Music & Youth then moves to the back seat of the car – still providing helpful driving hints (not the negatives associated with a back seat driver!) and helps fill the car with gas. (multiple years of partial operating funds)  We bring along some valuable passengers, such as university partners who provide work-study and co-op students to help teach, and corporate sponsors who bring along equipment and help defray maintenance costs along the way (equipment updates).

Explore to learn more:  Eventually, the Youth Development Organization develops their competence and doesn’t need us in the car. They own it outright, they operate it and it becomes theirs in every sense of the word. They’ve developed their own partners who can help buy gas (operating funds) They are now self-sustaining!