Young Musicians In Training
Name of Your Organization:
Quest Youth Organization, Inc.
Overview of the Project - Please provide a brief description of the project.
The Young Musicians In Training (YMIT) program is a youth led program of Quest Youth Organization and serves as a paid intern leadership development program for young musicians between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four. Quest Youth Organization, Inc., services primarily Brooklyn youth musicians and has approximately twenty-five youth enrolled in our music program. The YMIT program evolved into a dual purpose initiative; (1) paid music instructional services while developing career pathways to success and (2) youth leadership development;
We are recruiting and servicing youth in the communities of Bedford Stuyvesant, East New York, East Flatbush and Brownsville.
Since COVID-19 shut down the country in March 2020, we’ve had too re-tool our youth music program to the new normal. We relied heavily on our youth leaders (YMIT’s) to keep our students engaged in the program during the transition from in-person to remote learning creating a blended curriculum. The YMIT students made phone calls, sent emails to check in on enrolled ensemble students and helped assess student digital needs which allowed them to continue participating in the program. This set the wheels in motion to expand the duties and responsibilities of our YMIT’s, whose primary function was music instruction to younger Quest musicians at the beginner and/or intermediate music and theory ability level. COVID-19 required us to transform our YMIT’s to youth mentors, youth advocates, communicators and peer-to-peer interviewers. Youth led projects for youth and by youth yields a higher success rate because of various commonalities of all youth involved.
Which of the following issues does your project address?
- Issue 1 - Addressing Mental Health
- Issue 2 - Preparation for College and/or Career
- Issue 3 - Youth Advocacy Promotion
Issue 2. Preparation For College and/or Career
Issue 3. Youth Advocacy Promotion
Youth Engagement - Please explain how you will engage youth in the planning and implementation of the project.
During this pandemic we’ve realized the effectiveness of providing our youth with more hands on involvement in decision making concerning issues important to them. We assigned a youth coordinator (band leader from the YMIT program) to lead ensemble discussions with topics covering; 1) effects of remote learning; 2) personal motivation to keep studying and learning in this new environment; 3) how do we help with the digital divide; 4) will I be able to stay on my career pathway? 5) how to stay safe during the pandemic? The YMIT team will actively promote the program and recruit additional youth musicians to add to our current enrollment numbers.
YMIT team members and the ensemble will select the music which will be taught by the YMIT team to the ensemble which is relevant to the topics of their discussions. After the YMIT team and the ensemble conclude their discussions, the findings are brought to the senior staff (Program Coordinator) by the YMIT team for feasibility, continuity and artistic skill set requirements and recommendations.
Professional music scholars, performers musicians, youth counselors, sound engineers and a health professional are scheduled as workshop facilitators and mentors to help guide our youth through the creative process of connecting the above topics into a live music video presentation to visualize their message in the music. Additional group and one on one assistance is given through adult instructors, adult mentors and adult workshop facilitators to assist in composing and/or arranging the selections which will be taught to the youth ensemble by the YMIT team. Through live music and the freedom of expression, students have an emotional and creative outlet (verbally and musically) for their frustrations, joys and emotional variations.
Budget - Your total project budget must equal $20,000 to be placed on the ballot for a youth vote. Please provide a brief description of what the funds would be used for to successfully implement your project. You will also need to download, fill in, and attach a full budget using this template.
Funds will be used for the cost of professional (male and female) accomplished music scholars, professional musician performers, workshop facilitators, health professional, two Administrators and four YMIT stipends;
Timeline- Please describe the timeline for the implementation and completion of the project. All work for this project must be completed by June 30, 2021, which is the end of the city’s fiscal year and the deadline for the funds to be spent.
This project started in March of 2020 at the onset of COVID-19 with scheduled weekly two hour zoom music sessions on the following days, (Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday) for thirty-two hours per month of session time. We have maintained the same weekly schedule with content modifications and class size to concentrate on a more intimate session to better serve our youth.
January and February have been dedicated to implementing the focus sessions discussing youth concerns and connecting those concerns to music;
March and April, youth will collaborate with instructors and facilitators to arrange and/or compose the connecting music to issues and concerns;
May-students begin to upload their individual videos to drop box for transfer to our media specialist to create video montages for distribution and dissemination at the culminating event.
June-culminating video online (in-person if cleared) concert presentation
Project Activity Alignment - How does your project align with at least one of the following topics:
- Leadership skills development: organizing & advocacy trainings
- Stewardship of public spaces: public parks, transportation, etc.
- Youth and student engagement
- Civic education and advocacy
- Community outreach involving residents that have been historically underrepresented in or underserved by city government and its processes
Leadership And Youth Engagement
Young Musicians In Training program directly aligns with Leadership Development and Youth and Student Engagement through close interaction with other youth musicians, professional adult musicians, music scholars, performers and the community at large. Through in-depth interviews, workshops and surveys youth will have an opportunity to interact on a personal level with intergenerational members of our community.
COVID-19 has changed the dynamics of education, economics, youth out-of-school time programming and family priorities. This leadership development and mentoring program uses music as a bridge to connect youth musicians of all backgrounds, ethnicities, economic status and gender identity to focus on discussing youth issues with a musical skill set twist;
The program will develop leadership skills, peer-to-peer collaboration projects, as well as practical and theoretical music skills development. We are preparing our youth for this ever changing career workforce towards creating a strategic plan for career pathways.
What is your organization's area of focus?
- Children and youth related
- Advocacy and organizing
- Arts and culture
- Civic engagement
- Education and literacy
- Emergency management and disaster response
- Employment and workforce development
- Environment and sustainability
- Food access
- Health and medicine
- Homelessness and/or affordable housing
- Human rights
- Human services
- Immigrants and/or refugees
- Justice related
- Legal services
- People with disabilities
- Senior services
- Women's issues
Children and youth related---Advocacy and organizing---Arts and culture
ions - Type "YES" below each statement to affirm that you are eligible to appear on the ballot for this process.
I confirm that my organization will be registered in the NYC Payee Information Portal and in PassPort, NYC’s online procurement system, in order to receive funding from the City of New York.
[your answer here] YES
I confirm that my organization is able to front the costs of implementing this project. Organizations will be paid based on deliverables.
[your answer here] YES
Completion of Deliverables: I understand all deliverables must be completed by June 30th, 2021.
[your answer here] YES
I understand a condition of funding includes submission of a final report upon project completion, and participating in a debrief session with the CEC.
[your answer here] YES
Thank you for your proposal submission! Based on our review, your proposal is eligible according to the project guidelines and will be placed on the ballot for the youth vote to take place in February. We may reach out if we need further information to prepare the ballot.
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