Page 1


TABLE OF CONTENTS 2 Table of contents 3 Letter from the directors

4 Programs

6 Studies and surveys 7


Students benefit from mentorship

9 Feature story 10 Mentors become teachers 11 Community support

The Donna E. Shalala MusicReach Program at the FROST School of Music

promotes the healthy growth of children and youth through the study and practice of music while at the same time, educating FROST music students to become advocates and ambassadors of music education for the benefit of all children regardless of socio-economic standing. A top goal of MusicReach is to keep students in school and to go on to college upon graduation.

DEAR FRIEND OF MUSIC REACH In 2007, under the leadership of Dean Shelly Berg, the MusicReach program began with four FROST undergraduate student mentors, eight mentees from the Greater Miami Youth Symphony, and program leadership and training by Arts for Learning. Conceived as a motivator to keep kids in school and provide them with a life role model, the program has exceeded beyond our wildest expectations. Mentees have gone on to magnet music middle and high schools and have received prestigious scholarships such as the Posse Foundation and Bill Gates Millenium Scholarships. In addition, this year we are thrilled to announce for the first time that a mentoring alumna is now a freshman music business major at the Frost School. The MusicReach mentoring program now serves 40 mentees each week, mentored by 20 undergraduate mentors supervised by Dr. Lesniak and the MusicReach graduate teaching assistants. In an effort to reach more youth limited by economic and geographic boundaries, MusicReach now provides programming at ten underserved public schools and afterschool programs in the communities of the West Grove, Goulds, South Miami, Overtown, and Little Havana. These programs include mentoring for instrumental and vocal students, general music, choir, beginning strings, drumming, modern band, and music technology. MusicReach also provides outreach performances and masterclasses for numerous schools and non-profits in the South Florida community. Through these programs we are reaching hundreds of youth each week with high quality music education and thousands more through special events and performances each year. Even though this program is only nine years old, the results are real. MusicReach has provided more than 4000 Miami-Dade elementary, middle, and high school students with life-changing music instruction and life guidance in some of the most underserved neighborhoods. They are also being accepted into music magnet programs, providing them the opportunity to attend specialized public schools. In a recent survey, parents and site administrators stated overwhelmingly that the program has helped their students develop important life skills such as motivation, confidence, and creativity. We look forward to the years ahead and what we can accomplish for these deserving students. Dean Shelton G. Berg, Dean of the Frost School of Music Dr. Melissa Lesniak, Director of Outreach




2-1 Mentoring

..The flagship program of MusicReach where 20 undergraduate students mentor two students each, providing them with valuable musical skill development as well as positive guidance on life choices.

Beginning Strings

Students are provided with the opportunity to play and learn the violin, viola, cello, or bass at Pine Villa Elementary, Mays Conservatory afterschool, Virrick Park, Barnyard, and our strings summer camp in August at Mays.

General Music

Young students are given opportunities to experience music fundamentals building in a fun and enriching environment as they sing, dance, listen, and drum at the Barnyard and Branches.


Students form exciting drumming ensembles learning rhythmic and ensemble skills at Frederick Douglass Elementary and Branches.



Modern Band and Music Technology

Students receive instruction on guitar, bass, keyboard, percussion, and singing, as well as music technology software at Pine Villa Elementary, Centro Mater, and Leadership Learning Center


Young students receive group instruction in choral ensembles, infused with music fundamentals and vocal technique at Centro Mater and Leadership Learning Center

Off-Campus Mentoring

Students at Mays Conservatory and South Miami High receive individualized instruction on string, winds, brass, and voice by FROST students

Outreach Performances and Masterclasses

FROST students provide masterclasses for students at organizations such as Guitars over Guns, and also perform outreach performances at schools, parks, and hospitals throughout Miami-Dade


STUDIES SHOW MUSICREACH IMPACTS STUDENT PROGRESS... Music Education Department’s Forum for Research in Music, Education, & Sociocultural Context In partnership with the Music Education Department’s Forum for Research in Music, Education, and Sociocultural


Context, an exploratory study was conducted at Frederick Douglass Elementary School in the spring of 2016. Faculty and graduate students conducted site visits and interviews of teachers and administrators involved in the program. The findings indicated that socio-emotional development of students was a primary goal of both the teachers and administrators. In addition, musical development and creating a happy school environment were also key objectives of the program. Questions for further study were also indicated including developing more teacher training opportunities as well as more structural support for the outreach program.

UM Survey Proves MusicReach Keeps Students Busy & Out of Trouble A recent survey was also conducted by MusicReach of parents, site administrators, and students. Overwhelming

satisfaction among parents, site administrators, and students was indicated. Over 90% of parents and site administrators indicated the program keeps their students busy and out of trouble, and 100% indicated that the program provides them with opportunities otherwise unavailable to them. Eighty-eight percent believe the program has helped their students prepare for college, and 100% indicated that their students enjoy the program and their musical skills have improved as a result of participation. Eighty-seven percent of parents and administrators also believe the program has helped their students develop motivation and confidence.


In addition, since our first year, all of our 2-1 mentoring students have gone on to college.

Katherine Attong-Mendes

I started taking 2-1 lessons through Music Reach during my seventh grade year. I made so much progress as a young musician, with lessons individually tailored to my instrument and my learning style that went beyond the general music education that I was getting in my middle school band classes. On top of the musical aspect, I had a great bond with my mentor, Andy, and my fellow oboe student, Elias. I enjoyed our Sunday morning lessons, where we pushed each other to become better musicians and had fun making music together. My second mentor, Marissa, was unbelievably nice to me, taking me on an informal tour of the university and treating me to bagels. In my five years in the Music Reach program, I improved dramatically as a musician, and made friends that I will remember for the rest of my life.

The mentoring program at UM helped me become a better and more disciplined musician. My mentor would assign scales, etudes, and excerpts from the pieces I was working on and it really kept me occupied throughout the week. I knew that if I had any trouble with a certain piece or passage, I had a mentor who knew how to solve the problem. Working with a student who was so passionate about music reaffirmed my decision to study music in college.

Hugo Belisario

Barbara Santana

I am thrilled with the support we’ve received from Shalala MusicReach for the past 5 years. Over the years MusicReach has morphed and evolved to meet our ever-changing challenges so that we could continue to provide music instruction to our students. This program has afforded our students the opportunity to learn to play an instrument and receive music lessons they would otherwise not have. The University students are professional, encouraging, enthusiastic and patient with our students.

Yolanda L. Ellis, Principal

Being paired with a flute teacher through MusicReach both provided for me in the present and inspired me for the future. Having a mentor come alongside me during the early years of musicianship was very helpful and I grew immensely as a flutist. Getting to hear about my teacher Eduardo’s experience in the FROST School of Music and ultimately seeing him pursue his passion through graduate studies at the University of North Texas showed me the importance of education in any field. His work ethic and love-fueled efforts continue to influence me as I pursue a dual degree in Psychology and Human & Organizational Development at Vanderbilt University.


National Magnet School Principal of the Year Praises MusicReach

The Shalala MusicReach Program has become the “bedrock” of our music program here at Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory of the Arts! The program supports each of our magnet music strands which includes, chorus, orchestra, and band. The oneon-one music lessons continue to help the musicianship of all of our students.

Martin T. Reid Ed.S., Principal (2016 Magnet Schools of America National Principal of the Year)

MusicReach not only provided me with an inspiring environment, but also opened multiple doors for my future. MusicReach came into my musical studies many years after not having a teacher due to financial reasons. As the eldest of six children, private lessons for all of us were not possible. I did not believe in myself as a musician. I was not learning the same pieces as my peers. I was struggling to teach myself basic techniques. I was lost as to what questions to ask in orchestral and chamber rehearsals. But then I was able to study with Frost School of Music undergraduate Nika Reguero. With her help, my confidence not only as a musician, but as a person grew. I felt comfortable coming to her with my musical uncertainties because, just like me, she was learning as well. My technique and musicality continued to get better, and music was something I no longer saw as a hobby. I was invited to play at UM’s Winter Wonderful Gala and met Dean Shelly Berg. (Almost five years later, my younger sister was invited to do the same through MusicReach.) As a prospective first-generation college student, the idea of higher education seemed like such a lavish privilege, but working with my mentor showed me it was possible. I was surrounded by musicians studying their passion in music, and it was the most beautiful thing twelve-year-old me had ever seen. Now, I am a sophomore at Mount Holyoke Liberal Arts College studying music with a concentration in Orchestral and Choral conducting under a Posse Leadership Scholarship.


“Music was

something I no longer saw as a hobby.”

Relyn Myrthil, former mentee


The mentoring program is the time for extra practice. I love the mentoring program. It’s very fun. Sometimes I get tired of trombone but Chris makes it very fun. Without Chris I wouldn’t know my scales. Before I was in the mentoring I knew only one scale. Now I know 5 different scales and it was Chris who taught me. Chris and the program are the reason why I love trombone. Caleb Cenatus


In my experience at the Frost Music of UM for the past 2 years I’ve been given an opportunity and the feeling has been amazing and wonderful. This excellent program has made me get better at a lot of things such as reading the notes better, timing, rhythm, etc. But the best thing that happened in those 2 years was the Winter Wonderful performance and the support I felt from people there. I’m so thankful for that opportunity. And it has brought me closer to music itself.

Gary Louis Jean

Being a mentor in the Shalala MusicReach program has been a highlight of my time at the University of Miami. I think I’ve learned just as much from my two students, Caleb and Gary, as they have learned from me. It is an absolute pleasure to see them grow, both in ability and in their passion for music. Teaching lessons reinforces all of the musical concepts I am learning in school, and my kids are incredibly enthusiastic and eager to learn every Sunday.

Chris Jones, MusicReach Mentor


MENTORS BECOME EXPERIENCED TEACHERS... Melissa Eick, Mentor . As a music education graduate student at

the University of Miami, MusicReach has been a truly beneficial experience for me. I have had the great honor to work with a diverse population of talented music students throughout Miami. This in itself would be enough for me to treasure my time with this amazing organization. However, some of my most cherished moments have come from the bonds formed between the other university students here. We are all striving toward the same goal: to bring the joy of music to the underserved youth of our community, while absorbing all the teachable moments we encounter each day. This gives us a sense of personal camaraderie alongside a professional support that is invaluable in these moments, as well as for our futures in the music education world.

Molly Page, Mentor . Being a Teaching Assistant for the Donna E. Shalala Music-

en tor



Reach program has meant so much to me over the past year. I came to the University of Miami straight out of my undergrad and was seeking an opportunity to gain teaching experience as I worked towards a master’s degree. Working for this program has given me that and countless opportunities to attend workshops and professional development sessions. The most meaningful part of this program for me is getting to work with a population of students who may otherwise not have the opportunity to learn to play a string instrument. Watching their growth as musicians and human beings throughout the year is a priceless experience.


Johnathan Hulett, Mentor One of the creeds I live by is you learn something more when you teach it. You don’t understand anything unless you can explain it to a child. I also feel being a good musician is only possible in how you develop your other characteristics that make you a better human being. When you go into a community to see the classroom or music room you see the area as a whole. When I drive to, say, Overtown, it’s a complete scenery change from here in Coral Gables. Looking at the surroundings, you get a sense of what is happening in the neighborhood and what kids are exposed to and experiencing before you have them for that 45-minute block of time. It establishes a connection that reminds me, in some ways, of the neighborhood I grew up in. I identify with the kid who touches every instrument to figure it out. I’m doing this because I understand how far these kinds of programs got me as a person and musician.


MUSIC REACH DEPENDS ON THE GENEROSITY OF OUR DONORS MusicReach relies on the generosity of our funders. In order to provide high quality music education programs for many of the most deserving children and youth in South Florida, funds are needed to support undergraduate scholarships, graduate student teaching assistant stipends, as well as the purchase of musical instruments and supplies. Yearly Undergraduate Mentoring Scholarships—$5,000 Yearly Masters Teaching Assistant Stipend—$10,000 Yearly Doctoral Teaching Assistant Stipend—$12,000

Pictured: Dr. Phillip & Mrs. Patricia Frost

Some Instruments Price Examples $150—violin/viola $400—cello $900—double bass $200—tubano drums $150—keyboard $100—guitar $300—Launchpad

Special Recognition & Thanks

During WinterWonderful December 2014, Phillip and Patricia Frost made the surprise announcement that they would give a one million dollar endowment to name the MusicReach program after former University of Miami President Donna Shalala. MusicReach is also funded by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust and Canon. Private donors include Dr. Arthur and Lynda Gordon, Patti and Allan Herbert, Paige and Lou Adler, Liliam and Gus Machado, and Joe and Janet Shein.


305-284-6755 Dr. Melissa Lesniak, Director of Outreach contact: Holly Freyre, Executive Director of Advancement & Associate Dean for Development contact:


Shalala MusicReach Brochure  

Description of programs and impact of the Shalala MusicReach Program at the Frost School of Music

Shalala MusicReach Brochure  

Description of programs and impact of the Shalala MusicReach Program at the Frost School of Music