The world is stressful these days due to the pandemic, racial and political tensions, and quarantining. One thing that many people turn to in these stressful times is music. Either making music or listening to music can ease anxiety. Further, research has shown that kiddos who regularly participate in music display greater listening/learning/cognition skills. Studies have shown that kids who are involved in music typically have higher standardized test scores and higher speech and reading scores (nammfoundation.org, 2020). In Oregon, there are several youth music programs and lessons that are available this summer. Some are in-person, and others are virtual. 

Below is a list of the local youth music outlets that I found online.

Oregon Music Academy

OMA has several locations in Oregon: Portland, Tigard, Beaverton, Sherwood, Tualatin, and Lake Oswego. This organization offers a large variety of private lessons and music classes. Some of the choices include piano, guitar, drums, ukulele, cello, flute, voice, and violin lessons. They suggest “group music classes” for ages 2-10 and private lessons for kiddos who are 10 and older. 

To explore further, here is the link: https://oregonmusicacademy.com/

Ethos Music Center

Ethos is a local award-winning music program here in Portland, Oregon. Currently, they offer 1) private lessons and 2) summer camp/outdoor workshops. Some of the programs began in early July, but there are still many available in the remainder of July and August. They offer 2-hour workshops for a group size of 5 kiddos. The cost is $20. The website notes that Ethos also currently teaches around 300 lessons online per week.

For more information, head to this link: https://ethos.org/

For scheduling questions, the website provides this email address: lessons@ethos.org.

Youth Music Project

The Youth Music Project is an organization in West Linn, Oregon. Unfortunately, in-person summer lessons and classes are not happening this year, but they do have offerings online. Also, this program offers a “free trial virtual private lesson” on their website homepage. Their options are for young kids all the way up to teenagers. The YMP also offers tuition assistance based on federal financial income guidelines. They have a huge variety of lessons including guitars, drums, bass, violin, piano, voice lessons, songwriting, and early childhood music classes. 

For more information, here is the link: https://www.youthmusicproject.org/

Harmony Road Music Center

Harmony Road Music Center is in Clackamas, Oregon. They have a music store and they also offer music lessons. The store has an awesome variety of educational offerings such as different styles of sheet music, musical accessories/instruments, music-themed gifts, and even Christmas ornaments. The music lessons teach kids and teens about reading and writing music.  A large focus of the program is on piano and keyboard instruction. The schedule shows class availabilities in August and September of 2020 for varied ages. 

For more information, here is the link: https://www.harmonyroadoregon.com/

School of Rock

Wow. This program looks amazing. I have never heard of it before now. The School of Rock has locations based in Lake Oswego and Portland. I was overwhelmed (in a good way) by the amount of info on the website. The offerings are plentiful. Kids between the ages of 3 and 18+ have options for lessons through this program. School of Rock offers “one on one lessons” and/or “group band practices.” It looks like most, if not all, of the classes/lessons are done remotely/virtually. Some of the choices include guitar, bass, drum, singing, and piano lessons. There is also a section that provides song-writing lessons. The website also offers a “free trial” on their homepage. There are some really fun themed lessons/classes that are available soon including “Best of the 90s” and “Remote Green Day vs. Nirvana.” These classes take place in late-July and August 2020. 

For more information on this unique program, here is the link: https://www.schoolofrock.com/

My Voice Music

My Voice Music is an amazing service in Portland. The website boasts some impressive statistics like “10,000 songs written and recorded by youth”, “approx. 1,600 youth engaged through outreach programs” and “85% of youth received scholarships.” One of their main goals is to reach youth in juvenile detention centers, schools, therapeutic centers, and other youth organizations and offer them music outlets. MVM has their own studio and encourages youth to write and record their own music. Their website has an online list of resources for anyone to use. They have a virtual summer rock camp available via Zoom throughout the remainder of the summer. The cost is $140 for a four-day week of camp. There are a few sessions left. Currently, they are encouraging youth to share poems, lyrics, or photos and their community of musicians will write a song based on that information! 

For more info on this, the email is: monica@myvoicemusic.org

To explore MVM, here is the link: https://myvoicemusic.org/

Portland Youth Jazz Orchestra

PYJO was founded in Portland, Oregon in 2001. The program is open to those who are new to jazz all the way up to college music graduates. The website has a “new student sign-up” and private and/or group lessons. The offerings range according to skill level and age. Currently, it seems the classes are being offered virtually. PYJO says “when it is possible, in-person classes will be available.” It is also noted on the website that regarding payment, there is a “sliding scale due to covid-19”. 

For more information, here is the link: http://www.pyjo.com/index.html

***

It looks like there are some great choices for youth music outlets in Oregon this summer. Although there is a range in price, I was glad to see that some of the programs configure their class/lesson enrollment price on a sliding scale. I love that these programs place music as an important activity that children should have access to, regardless of their families’ income. Even though families can practice music informally, a music program with experts would be an amazing benefit to kiddos. Not only would they be benefitted by participating in a group setting, they could also possibly develop a life-long interest in music, enhance their listening skills, and learn about important elements that are involved with music. 

Best of luck to you all in finding a great summer music program for your kiddos!

References

https://www.nammfoundation.org/why-music-matters/music-research-child

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