The mission of Mentoring Through Music is to provide at-risk youth ages 8-14 the opportunity to raise their standards in life and discourage gang participation through music. This is accomplished with the building of positive self-esteem and encouraging personal discipline while learning musical skills.
All at-risk youth have the right to learn from their mistakes and should be encouraged and nurtured to take responsibility for building a better future for themselves. Music and the discipline that goes with learning music is one of the most powerful tools that can be used to transform their lives.
Teach about trust, respect, honor, love, truth and equality; Not just for others but for themselves
Tell my story of the two roads in life that they can and will walk down: Road 1: The road that takes them to a higher education and success Road 2: The road that takes them to juvenile hall and then State Prison
To teach guitar, keyboards/piano, percussion, and singing
Inspire desire to read and write
Build ability to focus and follow through on projects
Be willing to change by taking risks and chances to improve their lives by discussing the dangers of gangs, drugs, offensive rap music, crime, and how they effective today’s society
Provide opportunity for and recognize success
To allow them to be just kids; to laugh, sing, cry, be understood, happy, and to feel safe. To be able to shed the “macho” and/or ‘tough boy” mentality
Develop a plan to guide them down the path of at-opportunity not at-risk; education not incarceration
My program has the support of mental health counselors, judges, teachers, probation officers, principals, college educators, and multiple county board of supervisors. I provide a non-threatening positive male image for at-risk youth and offer a program that allows the child to learn more than just music. If these children who are part of the juvenile justice system and our community are going to have half a chance to have a productive life and not be a constant drain on our community resources, then we have to provide them with everything possible to keep them positive and out of trouble. This program uses the message that music and the stories in instructor Buzzy Martin’s book Don’t Shoot! I’m the Guitar Man can, and in fact, are making a huge impact on today’s young at-risk youth one child at a time. The tools taught to them through the gift of music allow them to walk away with a different image of gangs and a better outlook on life.