B Sharp Youth Music Program
Fort Worth, Texas
Our profile this month focuses on a program from the Lone Star State! Thank you to Jennifer Hay for sharing with the El Sistema USA community!
The B Sharp Youth Music program is a free, music education program founded by The Goff Family Foundation in August 2010. B Sharp provides participating students the opportunity to receive music instruction, academic tutoring, and life skills training in one of our three different organizations. We provide 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders with a music infused academic curriculum and instrument instruction time both during the school day as a partner with the Fort Worth Independent School District as one of the Gold Seal Programs of Choice.
Our B Sharp after school program is open to 2nd-6th graders and provides a meal every day along with music instruction, academic tutorials, and life skills training to all of our musicians. Our B Sharp Youth Orchestra is audition based and open to any middle and high school student within the Fort Worth Independent School District.
The B Sharp Youth Music Program focuses on the following four main components in an effort to increase success and create social change for all musicians in our program: musical success, academic achievement, positive behavior/social skills, and parent engagement.
The B Sharp Youth Music Program is mainly located at Como Elementary within the Como Community of Fort Worth. Our B Sharp Program of Choice and B Sharp after school program take place on this campus. Our B Sharp Youth Orchestra (BSYO) rehearses at Monnig Middle School. Our program currently consists of over 150 students across our three organizations.
We are most proud of the fact that we focus not only on music education for our young students but on the child as a whole. We focus on all facets of a child’s life from musical success to academic achievement and from relationships in their home life to their role in their community. We put our efforts each day towards our B Sharp Youth Music vision of “Harmonizing Communities Through Music”.
Our dream for the future is to continue with the solid foundation we have built in the Como Community. Our hopes are to “crack the code” at Como so that our efforts spill over into the entire campus and better the lives of all students, parents, guardians, and stakeholders. Our focus is on perfecting our recipe in order to continue to strengthen our program, but our hope is that we will have the opportunity to add another nucleo on a different FWISD campus in the near future.
Our program is unique for multiple reasons. A portion of our instructional time is focused on academic achievement. The program as a whole made great strides academically this past school year. According to the Fort Worth ISD department of Program Efficiency, Effectiveness & Sustainability, B Sharp students earn higher core average grades, receive fewer discipline referrals, and have a higher attendance rate over other Fort Worth ISD students. The Program of Choice and B Sharp after school students have received extensive social skills training throughout this school year in an effort to arm our young musicians with the tools to become a positive contributing member of society. Our new discipline management plan combined with our social skills training has shown an increase in positive behavior and a decrease in undesirable behavior. We are thrilled to continue our social skills training in an effort to further our students’ knowledge of life skills.
Our B Sharp students are armed with skills such as following instructions, greeting others, making an apology, and accepting criticism. Our focus on parent engagement also makes B Sharp unique. We encourage parents to attend our performances, of course, but we also hold events such as B Sharp Parent Night and Parent University where we open up our doors to all B Sharp stakeholders to spark more interest in our program. This sparked interest led to the creation of our two parent groups, Men ‘N Position and #sharpmoms. These two organizations meet regularly with our site coordinators to discuss how to help our students be more successful in school and at home and are open to all parents, family members, and caregivers. Finally, we redistributed our leadership roles for our program which lead to the creation of our B Sharp Administration Team. Each member of our team brings his/her own set of strengths to the table while focusing on what is best for our students. Teamwork makes the dream work!
All Photos Credit: B Sharp Youth Music Program