by on March 28, 2017

Wake Forest music students are putting the university’s motto—Pro Humanitate—into practice by offering mentoring and music lessons to low-income school children at a nearby elementary school. Several WFU students have founded a group called Musical Empowerment, dedicated to teaching music and offering mentorship to underprivileged children.

The founder and president of the group, KyungMin Yoo, explains the importance of this particular organization at the institution as well as in the community:

“Wake Forest University’s motto, Pro Humanitate (for humanity) is demonstrated by the institution’s heavy involvement in community service activities across many disciplines. However, prior to the establishment of this organization, Wake Forest lacked a program that provides opportunities for college students to simultaneously express their musical talents and give back to the community. Therefore, Musical Empowerment is a perfect addition that not only offers young students the values from music education without the financial limitations, but also allows college students to be mentors and give to others what they had once received.”

Musical Empowerment at Wake Forest University has been providing nine students ranging from 7 to 10 years old at Speas Elementary School with violin, piano, and guitar lessons since November 2016. Many of the collegiate mentors are teaching music for the first time and say they are excited about the progress in their lessons thus far.

The public is invited to a free spring recital to showcase the progress of the program’s students. It will be held on Saturday, April 22nd at 3pm in Davis Chapel on Wake Forest University’s campus. Chapter president Yoo remarked, “It’s always exciting to see young music students show off what they have learned to play, and it’s wonderful to see the pride their parents and their teachers take. But what is really amazing is that these are kids who might never have had a chance to learn or to perform at all if it had not been for the volunteer efforts of my fellow WFU students and the guidance from Musical Empowerment.”

Musical Empowerment at WFU is a chapter of a non-profit organization based in Chapel Hill, NC that pairs under-served children from the local community with collegiate mentors who volunteer their time by providing free music lessons. Music teachers and social workers in the local school system identify and refer students who have the potential to benefit from the program. Established in 2002 as a student organization at UNC-Chapel Hill, Musical Empowerment now has three chapters at UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State, and Wake Forest University. The faculty sponsor of the group at Wake Forest is Dr. Peter Kairoff, Professor of Music and Associate Chair of the department.

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