Musical Empowerment applications for the fall semester have closed.
Musical Empowerment (formerly known as Carolina Music Outreach) is a non-profit and student organization at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It pairs UNC students with children in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community from primarily low-income families. These UNC students volunteer to teach free, private music lessons to the deserving children enrolled in Musical Empowerment.
Lessons are held weekly in the Sunday school rooms within University United Methodist Church on Franklin Street, right next to UNC's campus. They start around the first week in October and end around the first week in April, with a month-long break in between for the winter holiday. A winter and a spring recital are held to showcase what students have learned over the course of the semester. Students taking lessons but unable to provide their own instrument are eligible to borrow one through the Instrument Lending Program.
Over the years, we have realized that children from the community are highly interested in learning music but are deterred by lack of funding, materials, and education. Inspired by this desire, and realizing the positive effect that a local music program would have, Musical Empowerment was created to provide free music lessons to kids from low-income families. The program gives children in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community the opportunity to learn more about music and to develop meaningful relationships with UNC students through music lessons.
Musical Empowerment is unique in that it changes the lives of children in the community. Music is one of the most powerful ties that humans can have, and this program aims to open the eyes of local youth in terms of opportunities, while allowing UNC students to give back to the community in a personal and engaging way. We believe that music in particular empowers children and fosters discipline, confidence, and collaboration which are values that can applied across multiple disciplines. Music is a common thread that unites us all and it knows no boundaries or borders. It is a language that all cultures share, and it manages to transcend cultural conflict. Music builds self-confidence and self-value, and Musical Empowerment creates a space in which people from diverse backgrounds can help and learn from each other.