New Partnership: The Music Link Foundation
Saturday, February 10, 2018 by Jessica Valiente | Uncategorized
I made the transition from band kid to conservatory hopeful when I was just about to start 10th grade. My parents had taken me to hear Jean Pierre Rampal play with Robert Veyron Lacroix at Montclair High School (where my oldest daughter is now a student -- great auditiorium!), and that was it. I was hooked. They found me a private teacher who, fortunately, did not charge a lot, and the serious work began. Soon after, when I was in the high school regional concert band and started meeting other serious young musicians from other towns, I found out that they did all kinds of supplementary things in addition to private lessons: music camp, master classes, workshop weekends...all of which were EXPENSIVE. These opportunities for development were not open to me, my parents made that clear. In college, I quickly learned that the same thing was true, but on a larger scale. In the summer, my friends would go off to perform at Graz, Tanglewood, Aspen, Chautauqua, and other festivals, but I stayed in New York City to work -- usually multiple jobs -- so that I could return to school in the fall. I was keenly aware of what kind of development opportunities I was missing. Musical success seemed to be the demesne of the well-off.
As a professional, an educator, and a parent, I have always hoped to change that state of affairs in my own little realm. It is my wish that the opportunity to study and grow as a musician is not only open to students and parents with disposable income. Many of you know that I offer a variety of free master classes and workshops throughout the year, and guests are often welcome. I have also been teaching for The Nikhil Badlani Foundation, which offers free, after-school group lessons to qualified students in West Orange Public Schools. Beginning this month, I am able to offer something new. I have recently registered to partner with The Music Link Foundation. The Music Link Foundation makes it possible for aspiring music students to study privately with local teachers for half-price or less by providing compensation in kind to music teachers. Because of this association, I am able to offer lessons at 50% of my normal rates to 2 deserving scholarship students at any given time. Qualification is based on need, which is evaluated by The Music Link Foundation. The hardship standard for qualification is the same as the federal free or reduced lunch application. Continuance in the program is based on merit and achievement: practice habits, attendance at lessons, and achievements of certain benchmarks are monitored and evaluated by me regularly.
If you think that you or someone you know may qualify for this program, please visit The Music Link Foundation website. Potential flute students can complete the application and if they qualify, can select me as your teacher if you are in the region.
Through The Music Link Foundation, like-minded colleagues and I hope to make musical success possible for every student with the desire and commitment, regardless of their ability to pay.