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Music as a Global Resource: - International Council for Caring ...

Music as a Global Resource: - International Council for Caring ...


SECTION: Music for Sustainable Community Development COUNTRY: United States of America PROJECT: REACHING UNDERSERVED YOUTH THROUGH AFTER SCHOOL MUSIC CLUBHOUSE PROGRAMS DESCRIPTION: The Music and Youth Initiative partners with community-based organizations to form strong youth development programs in music. They provide financial, program and operational support for after school music programs for underserved teens. These music clubs engage at-risk youths by promoting learning and social interaction. Cooperation and teamwork are emphasized while participants gain operational knowledge of musical instruments and music technology. Youth are empowered through their involvement in recording studios, bands and music workshops. They take part in an environment where exemplary models of learning how to work together are taught. Formal lessons in contemporary guitar, keyboards, bass, drums and music recording are being offered. Currently the Music and Youth Initiative serves communities in nine locations – six in Boston and three in neighboring cities in Eastern Massachusetts. Collectively, the ―Music Clubhouse‖ and ―Studio Clubhouse‖ programs receive over 1,500 youth visits a week with over 500 students enrolled. CURRENT STATUS: Music & Youth Initiative is a U.S. 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with 70% of its funding coming from individual donors and the remaining 30% from foundations and corporations. RESEARCH AND EVALUATION: Success is measured by the number of youth being served, the numbers enrolled in formal music lessons and the percent of students who achieve the ability to perform. Each club reports three times a year to the central Music and Youth Initiative about their program attendance, as well as offering ―impact stories‖ describing how individual involvement has affected the lives of its members. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Videos: CONTACT INFORMATION: Organization: Music and Youth Initiative Address: 398 Columbus Avenue #307, Boston MA 02116 Phone: 508-353-4714 Contact Person: Gary Eichhorn, Executive Director E-mail: 32

SECTION: Music for Sustainable Community Development COUNTRY: United States of America PROJECT: SONGWRITING WITH AT-RISK YOUTH: HEAR OUR VOICES DESCRIPTION: ―Hear Our Voices‖ is an innovative music therapy project aimed at promoting healthy attitudes and behaviors in at-risk youth through the use of a structured songwriting program. The project is an outreach program of The Arts and Quality of Life Research Center of the Boyer College of Music and Dance at Temple University. This program began in 2007 at the Hancock St. John (H& S) Learning Center in the Kensington South area of Philadelphia, where it continues at present. Elementary school children living in this neighborhood are exposed to serious social problems, such as poverty, crime and violence. The songwriting program provides fourteen weeks of sessions each cycle, using a theme-centered approach aimed at providing the children with a creative outlet for exploration and expression of issues relevant to their lives (violence, difficult family situations, drug use, anger management, school, and peer pressure) and an opportunity to collaboratively create strategies for personal safety and success. The programs are run by Board-certified music therapists. The songwriting cycle culminates in the production of a CD of the children‘s work and a CD release party organized in the community. The act of public sharing of the songs instills feelings of hope and a need for change within the community. Subsequent cycles at each site involve new groups of children in different age groups, ranging from kindergarten through 8 th grade. In 2009 ―Hear Our Voices‖ expanded to Carson Valley Children‘s Aid, which provides educational, behavioral, and psychological services to children with psychiatric and behavioral disorders due to trauma. Carson Valley has since adopted the program into its curriculum, while the Arts and Quality of Life Research Center continues to collect data on its effectiveness at the site. Additionally, a Temple University grant in 2010 funded individual songwriting sessions for Carson Valley students. The program also expanded in 2010 to the Drueding Center in Kensington, which serves homeless families who also are often victims of abuse. All Saints Episcopal Church in Collingdale, PA began hosting the program in 2011 as well, serving a working-class suburb of Philadelphia with a large percentage of single parents, low education levels, and a high percentage of African immigrants who are often under-employed. CURRENT STATUS: Through additional funding by Exelon Generation, the program is ongoing at the H&S Learning Center and Carson Valley Children‘s Aid, with recent expansion to the Drueding Center and All Saints Church, Collingdale. The goal is to continue to replicate this songwriting program in regional community centers that serve at-risk youth. As of October 2011, 145 children have taken part in Hear Our Voices. RESEARCH AND EVALUATION: Evaluation measures of the overall program have determined that children benefit from increased self-esteem, while therapists have observed increased group cohesion and ability to shift negative emotions into positive emotions during a session. Evaluation of the individual songwriting sessions at Carson Valley suggest that participants experienced decreased anxiety while also being more motivated to participate in other therapies. 33

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