Youth Music Project – transforming lives through music
This is the first in a series of sponsored stories by Terry Sprague, owner of LUXE | Forbes Global Properties highlighting local non-profits and how important they are in creating stronger communities.
Finding your place in the world is hard enough these days if you are an adult.
Imagine what it is like for kids who are growing up in a world much different than what their parents experienced.
That's where Youth Music Project comes in.
"Usually, I come in feeling like everything is going wrong," said one student. "But after I play music, it's kind of like a match lighting a candle. I leave feeling full and my candle is lit. I'm very happy again!"
Youth Music Project was created to be a place kids could go to feel like themselves and be comfortable.
"Music is a common language that invites everyone to come together. It builds community," said Terry Sprague, owner of LUXE | Forbes Global Properties, who had two daughters attend the school. "Youth Music Project offers kids a sense of community. It's an amazing place. Like Rock "n" Roll High School. It's cool to be here."
According to Travis Magrane, Youth Music Project Executive Director, music hits people intellectually and physically. It helps people come together culturally.
"At YMP, kids experience music with other kids â€“ it's a magical thing," he said. "Best of all it allows kids to be themselves."
At Youth Music Project, they use music as a vehicle to teach young musicians many skills, not the least of which is how to navigate difficulties. As anyone who has picked up an instrument can attest, it's not easy to learn how to play an instrument or to step up on stage in front of strangers and perform a song. It takes practice, patience, persistence, and courage. Stepping on the path to achievement means moving forward despite challenges and hurdling over mistakes.
At YMP, kids are encouraged and supported to take risks, make mistakes, experience success, gain confidence, and learn and grow through exploring music to their hearts content.
Every week at YMP the power of music sings for hundreds of kids throughout the Portland metro area. In 2021 nearly 1,000 kids joined YMP's welcoming, fun, and supportive musical community that they call their own.
According to Sprague, Youth Music Project does great outreach with kids from all over the city. The program is especially beneficial for kids who are dealing with personal challenges.
"Music can be a distraction from outside noise and can serve as a way to bring people together," he said. "Most important is that kids who study music typically excel in other aspects of learning. It also increases their confidence."
Watching a student blossom within the program brings not only joy, but skills that they can later apply throughout their life.
"Seeing the pride in a child's face after the first time they perform on stage is amazing," said Sprague. "Kids who were once shy are suddenly more engaged in school because of their experience here at Youth Music Project."
In 2021, 40% of YMP's enrollment were supported through their tuition assistance fund, ensuring that ALL kids have the power of music in their lives.Â
"It's truly remarkable what communities are capable of when they coalesce around a vision to improve children's lives," said Magrane. "Like everyone in our communities, Youth Music Project was thrown a series of curveballs over the past two years â€“ the pandemic, natural disasters, and impassioned calls for racial equity and justice come particularly to mind.
Through it all, belief and support in the power of music equipped students and staff to show their resilience despite these challenges."
For Sprague, his goal is to create more awareness about Youth Music Project and how much they do to help children.
"Whatever is in front of us in the coming months, support of Youth Music Project makes it possible for students' lives to be transformed through music education. I'm hoping others will join me in support of this fine organization," he said.
To learn more about Youth Music Project, or to make a donation, please go to www.youthmusicproject.org. You can also go to Terry Sprague's website www.luxeoregon.com and click on the Charitable Giving tab to learn how you can support other local non-profits.
WAYS TO SUPPORT YOUTH MUSIC PROJECT
Tuition Assistance Fund
Your generosity makes it possible for us to provide tuition assistance to hundreds of children annually. Your gift to this fund is an expression of your dedication to our founding belief: every child deserves music education. Any student whose family qualifies to receive free or reduced lunch is eligible to attend Youth Music Project tuition free. Since our founding in 2012, more than 40% of our enrollments have received tuition-free music lessons and music summer camps. Join us, in giving young people the musical wings that will allow them to soar!
Instruments are essential to music education. Our collection is well-cared for, but when hundreds of little hands use them day after day, wear and tear is inevitable. Your gift to this fund puts instruments into kids' hands and brings music into their homes. In addition, your gift will support our instrument rental program. This program is available to all families, but for those families who cannot afford to buy an instrument. Our instrument rental program removes this barrier by providing free instrument rental to any student whose family qualifies to receive free or reduced lunch.
Your gift to the annual fund allows us to invest your dollars where they're needed most. Your gift could help pay for a child's first music lesson, teen open mic night, or our quarterly concert series. It could even help pay the electric bill, which might not sound glamorous, but it's toughÂ to play the electricÂ guitar withoutÂ electricity! With your support, thousands of young people will receive outstanding music education at Youth Music Project.
To make a donation, please go to www.youthmusicproject.org
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.