"When I saw my daughter perform in an orchestra setting, I was blown away. SMP has made a significant difference in my daughter's passion for music. Thanks, SMP!" —parent of 5th grade student
The impact of our program can be measured in many ways. In terms of longitudinal persistence, we track how many of our ‘grads’ are enrolled in music classes and for how long they continue to stay involved with music. Over the years, we have worked with hundreds and hundreds of students, with countless grads continuing in their middle and high school orchestras, bands, drum lines, choirs, etc. Currently, more SMP grads than ever before are continuing with music at their secondary schools.
"SMP was really helpful. I had a really great tutor who helped me progress - my middle school audition was easy as a result. SMP also helped me learn about communicating well with others. My advice? SMP is a great opportunity - take it!"
At the participant level, day-to-day attendance reflects the depth of engagement and the strong link that grows between students and their tutors. For the year just ended, student attendance was 92%!
From a music-learning perspective, we employ a year-end assessment that measures student knowledge of general music theory concepts, including pitch and rhythmic notation, symbol recognition and listening skills. Our beginning students scored an average of 83% on the assessment this past year. 96% of our students showed growth in their musical knowledge overall.
Not only the younger children benefit from participation – the lives of SMP’s tutors are also enriched in the process. In addition to the inherent rewards of service, volunteers gain leadership skills and strengthen their own optimism by directly addressing inequality. More than 150 volunteers join us each week from more than 20 schools, colleges and community ensembles (devoting more than 7,000 hours of service last year).
“When I first came [to SMP], I was full of doubt, mainly concerning myself. I didn’t know whether signing up was a wise decision. Did I have enough skill to deal with totally different people? After spending a few weeks here, I must say that I can see the effects, even outside of SMP. I’m so glad I challenged myself to join. This has become something I really enjoy doing!”