JUNE 2016 13
“We see children using both sides of their brains in learning music,” says Becky. “What we do at
Rosie’s House is creative youth development, we are offering an experience for under-resourced
youth who will grow up to be lawyers, engineers and doctors. Sure, a few might go on towards a
career in professional music, but the majority leave our program with the tools to be successful on
their college and career path. Music opens the doors of opportunity for our students.”
Those tools sharpened at Rosie’s House include goal setting, accountability and leadership. “We
are enrolling students into our program who have dealt with homelessness, poverty, single family
leadership and more. They are, for the most part, our community’s working poor families.” This
basic fact omits virtually any opportunity to learn music or even participate in afterschool youth
development programs. With the reduction or elimination of so many school programs, the ability
to engage in music education is incredibly limited in underserved communities. “These are
students with enormous potential who are being left behind,” adds Ballard.
he mission of Rosie’s House is immense and intense. There are more than 400 children
served each week; and the majority are enrolled for five years. “One of our core values
is based on the idea that investing in children
strengthens our community. There is a power
to music education that is real and life changing.”
There is no impediment to participating when it comes
to Rosie’s House.
Each child receives a musical instrument, classes,
studio time and mentoring. However, there is a
demanding attention to character development,
respect, process and perseverance.
“Our faculty is first rate and truly inspiring,” explains
Ballard. “The majority of our instructors have earned
their Masters or Doctoral degrees.” Since music is a
collaborative affair, there are a variety of instruments
that are taught, including piano, flute, trumpet, violin,
bassoon, clarinet and viola.
Students are introduced to music theory, reading
scores and of course performing. It is a long term
approach and comprehensive.