Founded as a Carolina student organization in 2002, Musical Empowerment was created to connect with Spanish-speaking families in Chapel Hill and Carrboro by providing free music lessons to public school children.
The organization pairs each child with a college student for music lessons. During its first year, 12 Carolina students participated in Musical Empowerment. They quickly realized that beyond teaching music, they were building relationships and instilling confidence in their students. Within a decade, Musical Empowerment had grown to 160 student-teacher pairs across three North Carolina chapters. In 2012, the program was accepted as one of the inaugural teams of UNC-Chapel Hill’s CUBE social innovation incubator.
“It’s a great experience for college students to learn how to teach and empathize with their students and grow as role models as much as it is for the kids they’re working with to learn music and things like discipline and creativity, the confidence that comes with learning music and performing,” said Meredith Richard, former co-president and current executive director of Music Empowerment.