My Voice Music’s Philosophy – Mission, Vision, Values!

September 22, 2011

Who Is My Voice Music?


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 Statement:

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

Values Statement:

  • 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 create a concept of social accountability.
  • Education: We believe that when education is paired with a desire for knowledge it creates rich and fulfilled lives that positively affect individuals, as well as, the community at large.
  • Art: We believe in the ability of the arts to inspire and connect with individuals, and that arts education has the power to equip them with tools for learn
  • Trust: We believe successful relationships are built on a foundation of trust. We are committed to maintaining 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.

“The amount of attention I received working with these programs propelled my confidence in pursuing my dreams. I hope these programs multiply city to city. The absence of music in a musicians life is the absence of food in a belly. We as artists are born with heartbreaking enemies and are mostly misunderstood.

This product is the time and integrity to share our souls.  The gold at the bottom of the pan” – Felicia, MVM youth

Theory of Change

Our philosophy is based on the assumption that youth thrive when they have the opportunity to be seen for their best and not simply 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 social and emotional skills – essential life-skills used to create positive relationships, cope with difficult circumstances, and develop resiliency.
  • Goal 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)

Basically, 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.  The difference is we are dedicated to working with youth who have fallen out of the typical realm of community services.  We target youth who would otherwise not have these opportunities due to challenges such as living in the foster care system, experiencing mental health issues, exhibiting extreme behaviors, or with limited economic means.

Some quotes from our Students:

“When you said ‘try to feel the music’, do you mean like the chills? ‘Cause I just got those while singing that song.”


“If it wasn’t for My Voice Music, I would not be able to express myself in this way. I love music.  I use it everyday to cope and stay calm.”


“This is the best music class in the world!”


“Music is seriously my life.  Thank you for coming here and taking the time to teach me.”

Download PDF version of this:

Who Is My Voice Music

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