In our efforts to bring attention to the struggles of local youth finding places to hear and play live music, Portland Notes came across an organization that gave us a good deal hope – Youth Music Project! This group has proven that our country recognizes the importance of music as part of education, that the community has an overwhelmingly positive response to the idea of an all-inclusive music program, and that students are dedicated to pursuing and excelling when given an opportunity. Youth Music Project is providing access to all students, regardless of income – and that is extremely encouraging for the future of our next generation of local musicians!
Youth Music Project offers group and private classes in guitar, drums, bass, violin, ukulele, piano, and vocals for kids, teens, and adults. They provide access to top quality musical instruments for those who cannot afford them. They believe strongly that all students should have equal access to music instruction, so that each student can shine, free of any judgment or burden. Youth Music Project offers free tuition for students whose family income qualifies them for the school free/reduced lunch program. Even toddlers and preschoolers ages 1-5 can receive financial aid for the awesome pre-K music classes!
The following quotes are taken from the Youth Music Project Webpage, as the founders of the project have taken the time to describe their organization very well:
“Youth Music Project is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that offers Music lessons, instrument use (We have kid-sized instruments too!), and provides students with sophisticated, state-of-the-art performance and sound recording opportunities. Financial Aid for group lessons is available as well as free instrument rental for students who qualify for the free/reduced school lunch program.”
“Youth Music Project’s mission is to provide outstanding rock, pop, and country music education for youth by offering low cost lessons, free instrument use, and exceptional performance opportunities. Friday, April 15 is the next Teen Open Mic night. Open Mic nights are free and open to the public. Performers age 13-20 play and sing covers or original songs. It’s a really fun night. Free raffle tickets are given to everyone for prizes such as instruments, accessories and concert tickets. This month they gave away some beautiful leather Gibson guitar straps, Carlos Santana designer hat, and tickets to Ellie Goulding!
YMP students perform around the community and will be seen this summer at various fairs, festivals, farmer’s markets and other events.
Cynthia O’Brien, Outreach Coordinator, was so kind as to give me a tour of the beautiful, well-equipped facility in West Linn, which boasts a number of studios, tailored to such uses as recording, group drum sectionals, band rehearsals, individual lessons, and a rock star quality performance venue. The project also offers regular open mic nights and karaoke, and is completely welcoming to the entire community.
How can you help? You may donate to the non-profit organization on their website. You may volunteer, or refer a student to the program. Youth Music Project’s goal is to make music accessible to all youth in our community – thank you for looking to the future!