Philosophy

Mission

My Voice Music is a nonprofit organization based in Portland, Oregon that engages youth in music and performance in order to promote self-esteem, social skills, and emotional expression.

Vision

My Voice Music will provide youth with engaging, relevant, and challenging experiences in music in order to promote the development of social and emotional skills. Anchored on a belief in the power of music, relationship, and story, we are guided by thoughtful resource stewardship and a deep commitment to education through experience.

Values

Community

We believe that being a part of, and contributing something positive to, our community is transformative and empowering.

Relationship

We believe that positive, long-term relationships provide guidance and foster a sense of social accountability.

Education

We believe that education paired with a desire for knowledge empowers individuals and enriches the community at large.

Art

We believe in the ability of the arts to inspire and connect individuals, and that arts education has the power to equip them with tools for lifelong learning.

Trust

We believe successful relationships are built on a foundation of trust. We are committed to a level of professionalism and transparency that fosters trust in all of our relationships.

Experience

We believe experiences that are engaging, relevant, and challenging can connect with individuals in a unique way and teach skills that can be used for a lifetime.

Theory of Change

Theory-of-Change-2015III

Our Philosophy

We believe youth thrive when they have the opportunity to be seen for their best selves rather than for their challenges, and that:

  • Music is able to connect with people in a unique and universal manner.
  • Music helps people access and express emotions, as well as create community.
  • Music experiences can be used to help youth develop essential social and emotional skills used to create positive relationships, cope with difficult circumstances, and develop resiliency*.
  • Setting and working toward goals helps individuals take pride in themselves and their work.
  • Once someone learns to play music, they have a positive way to develop friendships and express emotions no matter where they go (very significant to youth in foster care, residential treatment, experiencing homelessness and other transient situations).

My Voice Music is like many organizations that provide youth with guidance in a skilled activity such as sports leagues, math clubs and so forth.  There are some major differences though.

Our Play it Forward Scholarships program means that all of our public classes are offered on a sliding scale so that no youth is ever turned away for financial reasons. When one family pays for a lesson, they are actually helping another family receive a lesson. In 2015 for instance, 94% of the youth who attended classes at MVM Studios did so on scholarship.

Our Outreach Programs partner with over twenty youth service groups, serving approximately 1,500 youth each year who have fallen out of the reach of typical community activities. The programs serve youth who would not have these opportunities otherwise due to challenges like living in the foster care system, experiencing mental health and/or behavioral challenges, or having limited economic means.

*For further information of the benefits of arts education, see here.