About the Initiative
Launch Lessons specifically support young Hispanic/Latinx and Black/African American students who have financial need and a strong desire to pursue orchestral music. GTCYS will match students with a high-quality private instructor and pay for the full cost of weekly lessons. As part of the educational experience, students will be expected to audition for one of GTCYS’ 10 school-year orchestras (tuition assistance provided) at the conclusion of this initial set of lessons.
Launch Lessons help level the playing field for students of color who don’t have access to private lessons. Studying with a private teacher is an important way for young musicians to develop their musical skills, stay motivated, and grow as individual and orchestral players. In addition to creating strong learners and leaders, playing an instrument and participating in GTCYS can open doors in college and beyond, and help students develop lifelong skills like collaboration, accountability, and courage.
- Private lessons are available at no cost for qualifying students.
- Lessons will be scheduled as applications are received through May 2024; students who audition for a GTCYS school-year orchestra in May 2024 may renew their lessons through 2024-25. Our intent is to support students as they progress.
- Hispanic/Latinx, Black/African American students in grades 2 – 11 who reside in Ramsey, Washington, or Dakota counties
- Beginning to pre-professional level musicians who already play an orchestral instrument (strings, woodwind, brass, or percussion) and have access to an instrument, but aren’t currently taking private lessons
- Families must have financial need and can’t afford private lessons otherwise. Families may self-identify need on the honor system: GTCYS will not ask for financial documentation until students are placed in a GTCYS orchestra, when they will complete GTCYS’ regular tuition assistance application process.
- Families must be willing to commit to the responsibility of weekly private lessons, including transportation, consistent attendance, at least 48 hours’ notice for cancellations, and regular at-home practice.
- 15 Launch Lessons will be provided, with the goal that students join one of GTCYS’ 10 school-year orchestras at the conclusion of these lessons. If students are not ready for GTCYS orchestra participation at the conclusion of their Launch Lessons, GTCYS will have a discussion with the student, their parents/guardians and the teacher about the possibility to extend lessons until the student is ready to audition.
Note: GTCYS has other assistance for students who don’t meet these specific parameters. To learn more, visit https://gtcys.org/auditions/assistance.
- Interested families who meet the eligibility guidelines above may apply directly online. Contact GTCYS if a paper form is needed or if you don’t have internet access.
- School music teachers or community members may also recommend promising students for this opportunity. To do so, contact Miranda Bryan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A conversation with the interested family and GTCYS will take place to learn more about the student and their goals, discuss lesson details, and review expectations.
- GTCYS will match students who are confirmed for this program with a high-quality teacher (according to musical level and geography) and pay for the weekly lessons. Depending on the extent of the family’s financial need, lesson books and other materials may be covered.
- Once paired, families and the private teacher will work directly to coordinate lesson times and details.
- Conversations between the family, private instructor, and/or GTCYS may take place periodically to gather feedback and gauge progress.
- GTCYS will work with families to coordinate orchestra participation details.