Our Mission & Core Values
MusicWorks! is an El Sistema inspired music education initiative that was launched by the Gulf Coast Symphony in August 2015. MusicWorks! promotes positive social change through music, and empowers underserved youth to develop a strong sense of personal identity and community through musical literacy in an effort to empower each child to achieve their full potential.
This year-long program launched in August 2015 in Harlem Heights, and is embedded into the larger, pre-existing after-school program called School Success at The Heights Center. School Success is a daily program that gives students a safe, supportive environment each afternoon within walking distance of their school and neighborhood. Resources include homework tutoring, enrichment activities, and nutritious snacks. MusicWorks! adds a music component; specifically, string instruction Monday through Friday, totaling 7.5 hours per week during the school year.
MusicWorks! participants develop goal-directed behavior and skills that increase their academic and social success. This translates into increased school attendance, academic motivation, and ultimately, achievement. Through the creative actions of MusicWorks! the children will have improved self-esteem and self-perception, so they may achieve their full potential.
By working together in an ensemble, they will learn conflict resolution and collaboration, and be able to apply this in their personal lives, and within their own communities. They will recognize that they exist as an important piece of a bigger picture.
The Gulf Coast Symphony will provide leadership and artistic expertise that educates and inspires the MusicWorks! students. Through the study of music, students will be taught how to play a string instrument at a high level, and become musically literate. The valuable skill of playing an instrument can be carried with them for their lives, and they can apply the lessons learned through MusicWorks! to their schoolwork and home lives.
In August 2017 MusicWorks! will expand to a Full Orchestra program, adding woodwind, brass, and percussion instruments in addition to the strings. This expansion will increase MusicWorks! enrollment capacity to 65 students. Additionally, we are also launching a 2nd generation program that allows parents and guardians of our students the opportunity to learn and study an instrument alongside their child!