UNC Musical Empowerment offers free music lessons to children online.
Since 2002, UNC’s chapter of Musical Empowerment offers free music lessons to Chapel Hill-Carrboro students. This includes everything from guitar and piano to voice or saxophone.
Musical Empowerment is an organization that helps students in their local school districts overcome financial barriers and take music lessons. The organization also offers instruments for free to students.
Senior Isabel Morris shared that she learned about Musical Empowerment at FallFest 2019. She decided to apply for mentorship.
Morris was matched with an eager student to learn the guitar. They’ve been together ever since.
Morris had previously stated that she would meet her students once a week at University United Methodist Church on Franklin Street to teach 40-minutes of guitar lessons.
Morris explained that Morris enjoys being able “to use what I’ve learned about guitar and to teach younger children how to love music.” “It’s great to have someone you can teach guitar with and also be a mentor.
Lauren Kornfeld, a senior at UNC, shared the same sentiment as Morris. She discovered about the organization at FallFest only a few weeks into her year.
Kornfeld explained that she first became involved in music to preserve her love and give herself something to look forward to each week. Kornfeld also said that she wanted to become a mentor.
Since 2004, she has been working alongside the same student. She was 5 years old at the time she met her student and is now 8.
Kornfeld explained that “I teach her voice lessons every week, but it’s kinda more than that.” “She comes from a difficult upbringing. She was raised by her mother and grandmother. Her parents are not present so I’m more of a mentor for her.”
The pandemic caused the online delivery of lessons to be discontinued last year.
Kornfeld said that watching her student mature in such a crucial time in their student’s lives was special. She stated that the greatest challenge in her mentorship was the language barrier. It was further exacerbated by last year’s pandemic, which made it difficult to teach lessons online.
Kornfeld stated, “Musical Empowerment makes huge efforts to try and solve that problem because I know that it is a major problem for many teachers.”
Kornfeld announced that the club will allow lessons to be held in person this year, so long as participants are wearing masks and are vaccinated.
Kornfeld explained that the lesson was in person and it was so rewarding to finally see her face-to face after all of this.
Senior Abigale Hickins, co-president, UNC Musical Empowerment has taught piano to the exact same student since her first year.
Hawkins, as co-president of the board, said that she assists with the training of the junior co-president, facilitates the ideas of her executive colleagues, and helps to build strong relationships and partnerships with community partners.
Hawkins stated that she also helps match teacher-student pairs. The UNC chapter now has 200 pairs due to this year’s rapid growth.
Hawkins stated, “One of my greatest goals is to keep growing and just continue our impact on surrounding communities.” “It’s even more exciting to have that as an objective when there’s the possibility of virtual since we’re not limited to a specific amount of space.
Hawkins says that even though her role of co-president has been something she worked for over three years, she still finds the most rewarding part of Musical Empowerment to be her weekly one-on-1 lessons.
Hawkins shared that it was an incredible experience to be paired with the exact same student since freshman year. She said how seeing how she has grown and how much I have grown through our relationship is amazing. “She taught me so much patience and how to stop and smell the roses.
Apply here if you are interested in teaching or mentoring students.