The Middletown Youth Orchestra uses music to impact its community and works to positively affect the lives of children. One of the primary ways we do this is by offering free music lessons. There is no charge at all for the instructional music lessons offered. The orchestra works with private music instructors and school band programs to compliment those avenues of learning, instead of seeking to replace them. It’s an especially great way for those in the music retail industry to give back to the community through instrument donations and free instruction. We also provide good-quality instruments at no cost to students who could otherwise not afford them.
Every child in our program is treated with respect and given the ability to grow. We encourage the children to behave respectfully toward one another. We also foster an open-hearted environment where each child’s unique gift can be celebrated and where talent and potential can be nurtured. We balance this by making our orchestra members accountable for practicing and learning their parts. We inspire them to grow to love music as a critical form of art.
The Orchestra is a great way for kids to connect with others their own age. We work with children between the ages of 6 and 21 years old. Many of the children come from low-income families and could not otherwise afford to take music lessons. There are also several adult mentors that are musicians. They work closely with the music students to help nurture and develop their talents. We match up more-experienced students with less-experienced students. Both the “mentor” and the “mentee” benefit from the relationship. The “mentee” learns what the “mentor” knows and the concepts that the “mentor” is teaching are reinforced as he/she teaches. The “mentor” is not paid any compensation for this service. We have been working with youth, using our own personal resources for the past 18 years.
The people that help our music students are people of character. We teach music, but we also use music to teach positive values like confidence, integrity, teamwork, respect, and responsibility. It is common for our students to excel in school and in life as they excel in music. At this critical time when most public schools have virtually eliminated music programs from their curriculum, the Middletown Youth Orchestra can serve a very important societal need by continuing to inspire children and teach them to appreciate the art of music through instrumental instruction.