Young Musicians of Alamance (YMA) is 501c3 nonprofit organzation that offers instrumental and general music education to elementary, middle, and high school students. YMA follows the philosophy of El Sistema, which focuses on developing each child's sense of social emotional learning, musicianship, and sense of community inclusion. The majority of our students attend schools where 85% or more students qualify for free lunch. Students that qualify for free or reduced lunch receive free music lessons. If a student is not on free or reduced lunch, they may participate in the program for a small fee.
Lessons occur after-school and Saturdays and are lead by experienced music educators. Instruments are loaned to students throughout the school year. Students receive six hours of instruction during the week. They also receive healthy after-school snacks and a hot, healthy lunch on Saturdays.
In addition to music instruction, Young Musicians of Alamance focuses on important social values such as self-respect, empathy, sharing of assistance and resources, mutual support and caring, self-discipline, and teamwork.
The opportunity for educational enrichment in a safe and nurturing environment promises greater readiness for school among young children experiencing low-socioeconomic challenges. Music is a means to counter some of these barriers by developing a positive sense of self and community, and empowering students. Frequent performances of small ensembles and combined orchestral groups help develop musicianship and a inclusive community for our students. Studies indicate that the earlier children are provided with music education, the greater the life-long benefits.