Truth & Service: NC Central Chapter Off to Strong Start

December 6, 2019

Many celebrate the holidays by honoring different traditions. Decorating our homes, indulging in delicious food, spending more quality time with loved ones and being mindful. For myself (and I’d imagine a lot of Musical Empowerment families), music is essential to the holidays. The newest Musical Empowerment chapter at North Carolina Central University celebrated their first semester at RN Harris Elementary school with a winter showcase and for me, it truly kicked off the holiday season.

The road to the winter showcase has been unique. Mentors were paired with students at RN Harris Elementary in October. Mentors and leaders hit the ground running to make this an unforgettable journey for our founding members and the children they serve. An essential role of music mentors is to work with their students to set goals and incorporate a growth mindset. Challenges are met with open arms and when students get frustrated, the mentors remind them, “That’s good. That means your brain is growing.” The ME teaching methodology is unique in that it combines personalized teaching approaches, self-evaluation, continued education, and discussions on teaching music. Working closely with other mentors, students, and families helps to foster community, encourages problem solving, invites collaboration, and provides fellowship.

At the start of the showcase, the room was buzzing with energy and high spirits. Performances throughout the evening included piano selections of holiday classics, a drum duet, and even special performances from NCCU mentors and strings teacher Ann Bauer. For some students, this was their first opportunity to take music lessons and they were eager to show what they’ve learned. Young performers were met with thunderous applause at the end of each performance and their smiles were infectious.

As lessons wrap up, it’s hard not to get nostalgic and sentimental. For some students, emotions were heightened because it was their first time performing in front of a crowd. NCCU mentors connected while reminiscing about their own early musical experiences. As Program Assistant, I am so proud of the efforts of the Musical Empowerment students, mentors, and families. It truly takes a village and the winter showcase was a celebration of community. Though the first semester is coming to a close, it’s obvious that the lessons with RN Harris students and their NCCU mentors will lead to fun memories, trusting relationships, and inspirational music for us all.

Until Next Time,