WideAnderson

What
The Young Musicians Association is a not-for-profit organization (501(c)(3) status pending) created to (1) give disadvantaged kids an opportunity to fall in love with music by learning, recording and performing their favorite songs, (2) give future professionals real-world experience and performance opportunities they could not create for themselves, and (3) foster a positive, collaborative music education atmosphere. We teach young, aspiring musicians how to play a song, organize a band to play with, provide a professional studio to record their song, then host their concert.

Who
Participants who get the most out of our program are (1) kids who want to play music but can’t afford private lessons and whose schools have cut back their music programs, (2) kids who would love to make music but don’t adapt well to the traditional music lessons model because of personal learning style, disability or attention span, (3) young musicians who already take lessons, pick up new songs easily and are good enough to “sit in” with others but don’t have a consistent venue to play, and (4) young musicians who already take lessons but either aren’t offered recitals or always have to play songs they hate.

The YMA was set up by 119 Original Founders whose names can be found here

When
Signups, teaching, recording and practice happen all year round. Concerts are hosted every 3 months and hold up to 30 bands in each concert. Students perform as they are ready and as space allows in the concert.

Where
Most of the practice and instruction happens in the student’s home, with teachers Skyping in to help out when necessary. Recordings happen at the LPL Studio in Fair Oaks, and events are held at various locations in the Sacramento region.

Why
We want to raise the bar and lower the price for music education. There are several schools that have great music programs, but they are not even close to the majority. We are excited for the opportunity to bridge part of that gap and get kids engaged in a music community at a young age.

The Process
1) Youth sign up online to let us know what instrument and what songs they want to play
2) They are paired with a guide who helps them learn a song and a band of other young musicians who have complimentary interests
3) When every member is ready individually, they come together and record their song
4) The new band performs their song in a concert along with 20-30 other bands

Eligibility
Anyone under 18 who is able to travel to Sacramento for recording and concert dates is eligible for the program. Students can meet with instructors on Skype, Google Hangouts or Face Time.

Cost
As little as possible! For now we can offer this for free, thanks to generous donors, venue sponsors, and community volunteers.

Teacher Selection
We allow as teachers:
1) Musicians who want to give back to the community
2) Teachers who are hoping to pick up new students by providing excellent instruction for free
3) Other young musicians who are good enough to teach the less experienced

NOTE: In general, these instructors are volunteering out of the best of motives, but just like all local music teachers, they are not background checked. You should be as careful as you would with any other instructor or coach or counselor. Also, the goal is to get performers ready to record with the band and be successful in the concert. These are not private lessons and the instructors do not necessarily hold music degrees or teacher credentials, so instrument technique, teaching style, and curriculum preference will vary from teacher to teacher. We welcome and will use participants’ feedback about the teachers.