StartNow Boston!, which is run out of the Josephine A. Fiorentino Community Center in Allston, MA, is the sustainable companion program to Empecemos Juntos, Mexico City!
Kithara Project delivers guitars, music stands, foot stools and other requisite accessories necessary to begin a first-class guitar program. A local program affiliate runs two weekly hourlong workshops for young students, and one for adults. The teacher gives an annual performance and organizes field trips to local concert series to expose students to live music. Students are also given the option of weekly private lessons with mentors from the Boston Guitar Orchestra.
In addition to weekly workshops, Kithara Project organizes three intensive residencies annually at the StartNow Boston! site with visiting musicians.
Students are also regularly given the chance to participate in guitar “happenings” throughout Boston. In June 2016, six students participated in Youth Guitar Workshop, an intensive weeklong workshop at Boston Guitar Fest.
StartNow Boston! is be offered at no expense to students the first year. During the second year, the program transitions to a self-sufficient model whereby the students pay a symbolic fee for each class, which underwrites the cost of instruction.
StartNow Boston! Impact
- Promote the guitar in a community with otherwise limited access
- Establish a sustainable artistic framework
- Contribute to general musical literacy
- Encourage social relatedness between others in disconnected groups.
- Provide a voice for the heart, a medium of emotional expression and exchange
- Empower students in their creative and educational pursuits
Student Profile: Estrella Sanchez
Estrella Sanchez is 10-years-old and lives at Charlesview Residences in Brighton, Massachusetts with her mother and younger sister. She attends Saint Columbkille Partnership School in Brighton and has had a passion for music since she was 6-years-old, when she began playing the violin. Estrella has been a participant in the Kithara Project’s “StartNow Boston: Experience the Guitar” weekly youth classical guitar workshops since the program began being facilitated at the Josephine A. Fiorentino Community Center in October 2015, at no-cost to her family and generously funded by the Kithara Project. Her participation in the Kithara Project has also awarded her the opportunity to participate in the 2016 Young Guitarists Workshop at Johnson String Instruments in Newton, MA, the opportunity being sponsored by the Kithara Project and Charlesview, Inc, and she was also invited and honored to perform for the Kithara Project’s first year celebration at the Guild of Boston Artists in April 2016. Estrella states she loves the guitar and was very excited that this program was being offered in her community. She states that her mother has been her biggest supporter in helping her to find music programs to grow her passion, and her goal is to learn as many instruments as possible. Other than violin and guitar, Estrella has also played piano and just began a summer program to learn to play the flute. She states she practices music every day for 30 – 60 minutes and loves reading and playing music. Her favorite style of music is classical, and her favorite composer is Ludwig Van Beethoven. She states her goal is to become a professional musician and admires professional violinist and performer, Lindsey Sterling. In the theme of “Music Makes Me,” Estrella stated: “music is something that I think about all day and dream about when I go to sleep, and when I wake up I am still thinking about it. Music makes me happy. It makes me feel calm. Music makes me want to play all day.