FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Music Lens?
Music Lens is a free summer program that introduces elementary school students to music that is new to them. For lower-income working parents, it fills a need for enriching childcare at a familiar location, and for kids, it’s a supportive, high-energy, and creative experience with a subject they might never have known they loved. Although we spend our days learning music theory and history and listening to a variety of sounds, Music Lens feels like a camp, not a school. Kids come away remembering a magical week of possibility, discovery, and excitement, and musical exploration organically becomes a valuable part of their lives.
Who can register?
Music Lens is free and available to any incoming second, third, or fourth grader, though we particularly seek to partner with communities underrepresented in classical music--specifically black and Latinx children--as well as families who experience financial barriers to music education and enriching summer programs. No prior musical experience is required.
What is your philosophy regarding community development?
At Music Lens, we follow an asset-based community development model, which differs from the traditional social service model by focusing on our communities' assets, rather than their needs, and by viewing our students and their families as partners, rather than clients. Teacher training involves discussion of the specific communities in which we work, our teachers' positionality in relation to their students, and age-based pedagogical tactics. We build Music Lens around the needs of our communities, and we let host locations tweak the details of close to 50 elements of the program, down to the length of the camp days, so as best to serve working parents. We allow early drop-offs. We operate in familiar and convenient locations. We limit our classes to ten students to make sure all our participants get individualized attention. By catering to parents’ needs, we make ourselves an asset to our communities.
What is Music Lens' history?
Music Lens was founded in 2016 and has received enthusiastic reviews from its participants and their parents ever since. Many children choose to pursue further musical study after the program, and we offer help with finding a teacher and instrument. Every year, parents tell us about how their children have begun identifying Baroque music playing in public settings, arranging their dolls in orchestras, or making instruments from objects around the house. In the summer of 2018, we expanded our reach to Cleveland and hosted five more sessions in three of its neighborhoods, in addition to our Boston camp. The summer of 2020 will mark Music Lens's sixth anniversary!
I still have more questions!
We're happy to answer them! Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or musiclenscleveland.com.