Music First works with students at every grade level, in collaboration with the educators involved in each school and district. We have two approaches to this work; mentoring within the music classroom, and educational focused performances for school student bodies and/or music students.
Music First sponsors mentors at all education levels, with the goal of assisting students as they encounter challenges by providing instruction from professional musicians who play the same instruments or voice.
Music First mentors focus on in-classroom activities; performance clinics, coaching, and master classes for the existing music curriculum within each school. When possible, the mentors that worked with students at the elementary level continue working with those same students in middle school and into high school, providing the continuity that sets a solid foundation for continued participation.
Collaboration with all music teachers in the path of promotion is a key component for improving participation after each transition between grades and schools. Our mentors are able to answer questions, coach, prepare, and set expectations on what’s next for each student.
As students are completing their high school education, they are given information on what opportunities are available once they finish high school. Not every student may intend to study music after high school, however there are communities of musicians and musical organizations outside of higher education where students are able to continue to perform and develop their skills and talents. The opportunities within various higher education institutions are also outlined, so students are aware of all options that are available.
Music First, in coordination with music teachers, administrators, and parent teacher organizations, sponsors groups to perform in schools at school assemblies, lunchtime, after-school activities, or in-classroom. This provides exposure to different types of music, and depending on the group and performance environment, a learning opportunity for the style of music being performed and the instruments used. This provide inspiration and encouragement as students are presented with their first opportunities to participate in school music programs, or to choose to continue their participation.
Music First provides matching funds for these activities, and in some instances low or no-cost services based on the needs of the school and community. We are committed to increasing participation and availability in underserved communities, to providing students with the opportunity to experience the difference music can make in their education and lives. Music First currently serves schools in King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties, but we anticipate expanding our services to all regions within the state of Washington.