My Voice Music (MVM) is a Portland-based nonprofit promoting self-esteem, social skills, and emotional expression in youth ages seven to 24 through music. Beginning in 2008 by offering hands-on music instruction to youth in mental health treatment centers, MVM continues to develop positive support systems and empowers youth to write, record, and perform original songs.
Each year, MVM’s Outreach Programs offer opportunities and guidance to over 1,500 youth facing life challenges, through on-site services at over 20 partner organizations including Mt. Scott Learning Center, Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center, and p:ear. MVM’s Outreach Programs embody MVM’s emphasis on guiding youth in treatment centers, foster care, and alternative schools toward finding their artistic voices.
MVM Studios is the dedicated space for MVM’s public programs. It hosts rock camps, music ensembles, individual lessons, advanced mentorships with professional musicians, and leadership development opportunities. To make these engaging, relevant, and challenging arts experiences accessible to all regardless of difficult life situations, MVM public classes employ a sliding scale model called Play It Forward Scholarships. In 2015, 94% of youth attending MVM Studios classes did so through Play It Forward.
In MVM Studios public programs, youth experience that music is a positive way to develop friendships and express emotions – equipping them with tools for lifelong learning. Students learn instruments and songwriting skills, record songs, attend mixing and engineering classes, and share their work in over 20 annual performances across Portland and on compilation CDs. The free MVM Open Studio program offers middle and high school-aged youth opportunities to explore music after school at the studio on a weekly basis. Opportunities for further musicianship and leadership development are available through MVM’s artist mentorship programs and positions as Student Teachers, as well as through MVM’s partnership with the Berklee School of Music’s City Music network.
Tickets for MVM’s 11th annual gala on October 26th — which will include dinner, an auction, and musical performances by MVM’s young rockers and emcees — are available here.
To learn more about My Voice Music or register for fall programs, visit http://myvoicemusic.org/classes/.