Playing music is one of life’s greatest joys, one we hope to share with as many kids as possible.
Founded in 2009 by students at Columbia University, Musical Mentors Collaborative began as a small group of volunteer musicians – both amateurs and aspiring professionals – teaching free private lessons to elementary school students in Morningside Heights. MMC incorporated in 2011 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, and in the following years established chapters at NYU, Queens College, Boston University, and Binghamton University. Since 2009, our volunteer instructors have collectively taught nearly 8,000 private lessons to hundreds of students.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, we designed a teaching artist program. The program paid emergency grant relief to exceptionally accomplished musicians whose careers and income were impacted by the crisis, and deployed them as private music tutors to MMC students. We moved our lessons from the classroom to Zoom, and with the support of companies like Logitech and Blue Mics, invested in quality enhancements to the virtual learning environment. We also expanded our student outreach to include youth homelessness shelters, supportive housing networks, and other communities heavy-hit hard by the pandemic, and began offering free instruments to any MMC student who needed one.
Today, our MMC serves students across the United States in under-resourced communities. Our collaborative includes musicians, educators, and university students; homeless shelters, supportive housing networks, and low-income Title I schools; volunteers ranging from professions in law, medicine, social work, finance, technology, and arts-management; and teachers from orchestras, rock bands, conservatories, and corporations. We strive to offer instruction on any instrument and in whatever genre our students most want to learn, and we teach students from kindergarten to high school. We serve students across the United States in under-resourced communities. From beginner to pre-conservatory prep. Our goal is to rally music-lovers across our community, and use that resource to build novel educational infrastructure that serves our next generation of musicians. Will you join us?