The National Repertory Orchestra and Breckenridge Music join forces to enhance music education and increase access to one-on-one instrumental and vocal instruction.

The National Repertory Orchestra (NRO) and Breckenridge Music (BrM) are partnering to support music programs in local schools. Through Summit County Music Lesson Scholarships (SCMLS), music students will have equitable access to private instruction with professional musicians and teachers.

The initiative is a coordinated response to the COVID-19 Pandemic’s impact on school-based music programs.  Typically, the NRO and BrM offer in-person assemblies and workshops at the elementary, middle and high school levels. However, public health restrictions have significantly limited Summit County teachers’ abilities to provide music training in the hybrid learning model.

The two organizations and music teachers from across Summit County agreed that investing in expanded and equal access to private lessons with local musicians and teachers could maintain a core of inspired student leaders to populate school ensembles post-pandemic.

Tamara Nuzzaci Park, Executive Director of BrM, shared, “Music education in our community has been a cornerstone of Breckenridge Music since its inception in 1981. Our goal in working with the NRO is to create even more opportunities for our children to learn, discover and grow from the music experience. Kids (and us parents) need music now more than ever before. It uplifts us, relieves us from our daily worries and connects us to our shared humanity. Yet, families have less time to invest in music and more financial barriers.”

Scholarships will fully or partially fund after school studies in Piano, Voice, Guitar, Violin, Cello, Flute, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone and Percussion. Instruction is available for scholars, 6th through 12th grades, who are already engaged in a music program.

The goals of Summit County Music Lesson Scholarships are to:

  • Inspire middle and high school musicians in their pursuit of excellence.
  • Develop students’ technical aptitude and musicianship on the chosen instrument.
  • Build confidence, focus and social-emotional skills through music.
  • Provide work for underemployed professional musicians and educators in the community.
  • Launch a shared-services model for music education initiatives augmenting Summit County Schools’ curricular objectives.

“The transformative power of music bridges all divides, whether social, economic, racial, gender or geographic,” said Dave DePeters, CEO of the NRO. “Music teaches empathy and understanding while bringing people together in a way that, too often, words may fail. SCMLS is the first phase in using music as a tool to support the great work our schools and parents are already doing throughout the community. The NRO’s DNA has always been education and this program is the next natural step in our evolution.”

The combined pilot effort will launch on Monday, March 8 and will continue until Friday, May 28, 2021. Applications and guidelines are available on Monday, February 8 at 10:00 am through Tuesday, February 19 at 5:00 pm and accessible at NROmusic.org and BreckMusic.org. A volunteer committee will review submissions with scholarships awarded on a need basis. Lessons will be thirty minutes to one hour per session and offered online or in-person pending public health guidelines.

Park added she has three hopes for SCMLS, “That it encourages more kids to make music a priority, that it helps keep our public-school music programs strong, and that our new collaboration sets us up to deliver a lively, diverse and well-coordinated line-up of music experiences to our schools post-pandemic.”

Summit County Music Lesson Scholarships are made possible by The Summit Foundation and other generous community members.