Core Youth Programming

Core Youth Programming

CMW applies an innovative approach to arts education that highlights the relationship between music and social change. The primary goals of this approach are to facilitate young people’s paths toward critical awareness of the oppressions in their lives, and empower them to use music as a tool to imagine and achieve new possibilities.

In designing CMW, founder Sebastian Ruth was influenced by philosophers Paulo Freire and Maxine Greene, who wrote that education must lead individuals to critical awareness of the world around them, develop a capacity to change that world and encourage young people to see new possibilities for themselves. We are sometimes asked if this is a music program or a civic engagement program. Our answer, quite simply, is yes.

Instrument Lessons (weekly)
Lessons are the heart of Community MusicWorks. CMW’s resident musicians teach individual and group lessons in violin, viola, and cello during after-school hours. CMW provides all participants with instruments to keep throughout the school year.

All-Play Days (weekly)
On Tuesday afternoons, all students participate in studio classes with their teachers, and play in orchestras and other ensembles with their peers. All-Play Days sometimes include educational workshops, in which children interact with local and touring artists from diverse backgrounds, and concert trips, in which students and families attend Providence and Boston-area performances.

Student Performances
Throughout the year, students and teachers perform as individuals and in ensembles for a diverse community of parents, neighbors, students, and musicians. Performance Parties bring the whole community together and include a potluck meal, while Studio Recitals provide a more intimate performance opportunity. Students also organize and present their own community performance during the year.

Supplemental Classes
CMW students are offered the opportunity to sign up for Music Lab (an improvisation class), Fiddle Lab, and Media Lab (a class for learning new media and documentation skills). All students who have participated in CMW for at least one year are welcome to sign up for as many classes as they would like.