Tri-M: Massapequa Music Mentor Program

In today’s world, simple pleasures like going to concerts and performing at showcases in schools may seem to be an event of the past. Fortunately, a new program is being put in place at Massapequa High School to continue sharing music within the community in these trying times. 

The Massapequa High School Tri-M Music Honor Society is introducing the Music Mentors Program, where high school Tri-M members can be matched with a buddy in grade 4th or 5th to give them assistance in their choral, band, or orchestral instruments. Each mentor and their buddy will have the ability to meet over FaceTime, Google Meet, or Zoom to play for each other and give helpful pointers. 

In past years, Tri-M had been able to earn service hours at school shows or concerts by passing out flyers, working concession stands, or helping to organize events for the music department. However, until it is safe for students to perform, the options for community service in the music department are limited. The Massapequa Music Mentors Program is a great way for students to still express their creativity and pursue their passion for music while there are limited opportunities for musical performances.

Mrs. Arnold, Massapequa High School’s band director and Tri-M advisor, has worked with students, staff, and parents to create this new means of music community service in a time where normal activities cannot proceed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Music Mentors Program “introduces students to be musically motivated through collaborative practicing while also providing an opportunity for a virtual supplement to weekly lessons.” This program will continue to be utilized even after COVID has come to an end.

Mentors are encouraged to get to know their buddy, and to portray themselves as a friend, rather than a regular teacher. The intention of this program is to keep younger students interested in and excited about music in their school despite this year’s challenges. The influence of an older musician sharing their experiences with the music department could easily do just that. 

This program has been an amazing experience for mentors and buddies alike. Tri-M Treasurer, Maddie Dagger, shared an anecdote about her instruction sessions. “Doing zoom calls with my buddy has been so beneficial for the both of us. As a cellist hoping to pursue a career as a music educator, this has been an amazing opportunity for me to gain experience working with young students to reach their full potential as musicians.”

The Music Mentor Program will be a more casual interaction than a formal lesson, meant to enhance the confidence of a new instrumentalist or choral singer and give them a good foundation for their musical futures by setting an example for them to follow. Forming a mentor-buddy bond only makes the experience more fulfilling for everyone involved. Through this new program, we can hopefully begin to see a rise of talented musicians in the Massapequa community!

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