Many students in high-poverty and continuation high schools are coping with immense stressors, daily challenges far above and beyond normal academic and social pressures. Having limited resources, food insecurity, substandard or insecure housing, family stress, and for all but the highest achievers, a narrow set of choices after graduation, can be very discouraging. Students benefit from this welcoming, responsive afterschool program where they gain skills for self-care, creativty , and work!
By providing restorative, accessible guitar clubs that instill hope, and foster positive connections between kids fighting an uphill battle, this project improves their chances for success. The free instruction, guitars and supplies remove financial barriers to participation. Making music together reduces their stress, and motivates students to truly apply themselves to something that fills their cups with joy as they acquire artistic abilities to share with friends, and teach to others.
Actively participating in making music has been found to lower anxiety, regulate breathing and heart rates, build cross-brain connections, boost executive brain function, strengthen speech processing, improve memory, and even promote empathy. It also gives students who have trouble expressing their feelings a different way to get feels out- through the instrument, or through singing songs with personal mearning. This all adds up students feeling healthier, calmer, more focused, and resilient!