The Music Buddies Mentorship Program is run by Director Laura Cahn and is a peer-to-peer musical training opportunity providing private music instruction to disadvantaged students in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region. AYPO musicians mentor these students on their instruments on a weekly basis, covering basic music skills, exercises, and school orchestra or band music. Students demonstrate the skills they learned from their mentors at the Showcase Recital (see below for details). At the recital students share their musical accomplishments with an audience, either as a solo musician or with a small group.
One goal for the program is to elevate the interest level and retention of young musicians in their school music program. Farina, a violin student, said that “the best part about my music lessons is that I could learn music to play on my instrument and at the same time I was able to share with my mentor." Another goal of the program is to instill a sense of community responsibility in AYPO musicians. Sarah Toy, AYPO alumna and violist said that “Music Buddies is a wonderful program that provides young people with an interest in classical music, a unique opportunity to teach that would be otherwise unavailable, while providing private lessons for underprivileged youth in the community.”
Mentors attend monthly training sessions with a professional educator in order to learn how to teach music to children. Mentorship is open to musicians in the American Youth Concert Orchestra, American Youth Symphonic Orchestra, and the American Youth Philharmonic (8th grade or older). Mentoring is a way for young musicians to gain valuable hands-on teaching experience while enriching the lives of fellow musicians.
Music Buddies Showcase Recital