About WYSO Music Makers

WYSO Music Makers was founded in 2007 to provide quality music lessons and performance opportunities to students whose families may not be able to afford this luxury. The program originally targeted third graders who are able to start lessons at a comparatively young age without being necessarily dependent on a parent-teacher.

Our objective is to support both the musical and overall development of young people, to the extent that they could choose to participate successfully through high school in either a public school performance group, summer gatherings,  or in the WYSO program.

From 11 students in 2007, we now have 85 students enrolled during the 2018-2019 season.  This includes 45 violins, five violas, two cellos, six pianos, one voice student, and 12 guitarists. Each student has a private lesson during the week and group classes on Saturdays. Some students study more than one instrument.

The most advanced students, along with our WYSO Youth Orchestra mentors, comprise a small chamber orchestra. Their focus is on both classical and non-classical musical styles.

Our Teen Teacher Program was established three years ago to build community among our students in middle school and high school. This program aims to offer them meaningful work within the organization, with a focus on supporting the instruction of the younger children. Teen Teachers receive a stipend from a project grant and have truly become quite engaged in our overall program.

The WYSO Mentors program has been an extremely valuable part of our program. These accomplished high school students attend our program on Saturdays and help us teach, coach ensembles, and add musical strength to our ensembles by playing with our students.

WYSO Music Makers teachers and group assistants have a strong background in both teaching and the study of pedagogy.  The development of the teachers’ skills is an ongoing part of our program.

We perform one major concert each semester, with others along the way. The Music Makers students also attend performances by WYSO orchestras and other professional ensembles in the community.

Our Saturday groups also include students from the private sector who contribute musically and in many other ways. Classes are held at Memorial United Church of Christ in Fitchburg.

Learn more about the program in our 2017-2018 Annual Report.

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