Students

Congratulations and Thanks to the Seniors with Project 440

As the school year, Doing Good, and Instruments for Success comes to an end, we want to start by congratulating them on all of their hard work and accomplishments. The students in our programs have gone to school to learn from the amazing teachers in Philadelphia while also taking time after school to learn and prepare for college and their future careers. We have enjoyed spending time with these young leaders and want to thank them for joining us in this learning experience, especially the members of the Youth Advisory Council (YAC).

YAC consists of alumni of Project 440 programs, the School District of Philadelphia, and other young leaders from throughout the region with a passion for music education. Participants meet monthly and receive leadership, project management, governance and advocacy training. The mission of YAC is to use peer to peer influence to ensure diverse representation in Project 440’s programs and to provide feedback on program content. You can read more about YAC here!

We want to give a special thanks and shoutout to the YAC members for helping us grow and better serve the young people of Philadelphia. Here is the list of graduating seniors:

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Chloe Cooper

University of Tampa

Music Education

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Claire Casanova

Temple University

Music Education

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Malinda Voell

Temple University

Flute Performance

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Marquise Bradley

Cleveland Institute of Music

Clarinet Performance

We are very excited to see what each and every one of our seniors accomplishes as they take the next steps in their lives. Congratulations!

 

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Congratulations to the Doing Good Class of 2019!

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We celebrated the 2019 Doing Good Graduation on May 9th and could not have ask for a better night! Doing Good is a 30-week intensive after-school entrepreneurial program that provides guidance to high school musicians who want to positively impact their communities. The unique curriculum challenges students to view their curiosity about the world as a window through which they can see the needs, gaps, and opportunities they are best equipped to address. Click here to learn more about Doing Good!

The graduation served as their final project for the program, presenting their community based artistic projects that they have begun to the graduation attendees! This year’s projects were:

T. Arts

Javon miner 

Our plan is to give, inspire, and expose the arts to students who need it to a program that will allow children who attend non-arts schools, to put on a show that includes both film acting and musical theater. They will have time to practice and perform each of their numbers, and get to enjoy the thrill of the dramatic arts.

Center City Chamber Orchestra+ (CCCO+)

Daniel Kim & Justin Williams

We plan to contribute to the Center City Chamber Orchestra - an orchestra created by students, performed by students, and led by students - by creating an educational component to their programming.

Generation Music

Chloe Cooper, Claire Casanova, Nayyirah Wood,

Kintan Silvany & Naomi Lukov

To educate the youth in classical music with a series interactive workshops and lessons through student knowledge of music.

Project Princeps

Jake Richards, Sarah Casanova & Grace Flickinger

To give every child the chance to experience the power of books through musically minded entrepreneurial ventures.

We want to send special thanks to our program director and teaching artist Susanna Loewy, teaching artist Nozomi Imamura, and the Curtis Institute for Music for sharing their space with us.

 

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Project 440 Student Spotlight: Javon Miner

Meet Project 440 Doing Good student, Javon Miner! Our interview highlights how participating in Project 440 has influenced his outlook on a career in the arts.

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Q. Can you tell me about yourself and your relationship with music?

My name is Javon, and I’m an actor from Philadelphia. Even though acting is my main passion, I’ve also dabbled with music. I’ve been playing the drums for awhile now, and I’m currently trying to learn how to play the piano.

Q. How did you hear about Project 440 and what is your involvement with us?

I heard about Project 440 in late 2018. They came to my school to promote it to my class.


Q. I heard that you thought there might be a “catch” to Project 440 providing a stipend to students for completing our programs; after being in Doing Good for a whole year, what is the verdict?

When they told the class that they are willing to pay students who are involved in the program, the first thought in my mind was that there was a catch, but after being in the program I realized that there wasn’t anything suspicious about it. It was straightforward in fact. You had to be there and do the assignments. That’s it. Your attendance and the work you do is counted toward you stipend.

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Q. Has participating in Doing Good changed the way you view music and the arts as a career path?

Being apart of the Project 440 program helped me understand that music is not only something that gives people pleasure. It can also be used as medicine. Music can be a way that people cope with problems they may have. It can also be used to convey certain messages and meanings to its audience.

Q. Has Project 440 helped you in pursuing your future goals?

Ms. Susanna is the person who teaches my class alongside Mr. Nozomi. She contacted a friend of hers and and helped set up a meeting for me and her friend to discuss my real-estate interest. After that I was offered an internship with the firm. All thanks to my teacher.

 

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YAC's "Young Person's Night at the Orchestra" Welcomes Record Number of Youth

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Project 440's Youth Advisory Council (YAC), in collaboration with the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, filled the room with over 50 youth from 25 different schools in the Philadelphia area at their second pre-concert mixer event for high school students interested in classical music. 

15 Philadelphia Orchestra musicians stopped by to mingle with the students over sweets and beverages, half of whom had never attended a Philadelphia Orchestra Concert before. 

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The soloist for the evening, Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Viola C.J. Chang, also made an appearance to talk to students. We are blown away by YAC's reach and ability to engage peers who may not otherwise attend a concert. Keep up the great work!

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Doing Good Students Pitch Community Based Projects at P440 Shark Tank

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After a semester of learning the ins and outs of leadership, social entrepreneurship, and project management, student groups in the 2018-19 cohort of Doing Good presented pitches for their community based projects to a panel consisting of Philadelphia community leaders. 

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In addition to projects that have continued from last year's class like Generation Music and Center City Chamber Orchestra, new projects ideas were also pitched:

  • Project Princeps - This group’s mission is to give every child the chance to experience the power of books through musically minded entrepreneurial ventures. They plan to accomplish this through putting together a community concert where, in lieu of a ticket, attendees donate a book.

  • Generation Music - Founded by 2018 Doing Good graduates, Generation Music is an organization that educates underrepresented youth about classical music to further diversify professional orchestras. Now a fiscally sponsored and award winning organization, they are expanding on their original project through developing an interactive “Night at the Orchestra” workshop, in partnership with Settlement Music School, aimed at introducing young people to different musical instruments.

  • Teen Arts: Theater and Film - This group’s mission is to give, inspire, and expose young people from schools without theater or film programs to these art forms. They plan to accomplish this by creating a program that will culminate in small showcase. Participants will have time to practice and perform each of their numbers, and get to enjoy the thrill of the dramatic arts.

  • Center City Chamber Orchestra project extension - CCCO was founded by a group of 2018 Doing Good graduates who wanted to brings together a diverse group of student musicians in the Philadelphia area to create a youth-led performing ensemble. This year, they plan to expand on their original project by building out a more formal board and putting together a community performance.

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A special thank you the panelists who helped provide valuable feedback to these young entrepreneurs:

Interested in supporting the important work that these students are accomplishing in their communities? Your donations will help provide seed money for these projects and allow students to participate in our programming. Click here to contribute!

 

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Introducing the Youth Advisory Council's new members!

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We are very happy to present the new Youth Advisory Council (YAC) members! YAC is a program that uses peer to peer influence to ensure student voices are included in the development of our programs and encourage students to further develop their leadership skills.

YAC includes alumni of Project 440 programs, the School District of Philadelphia, and other young leaders from throughout the region with a passion for music education. This group meets monthly and receives training aimed at developing their leadership skills.

Dotan Yarden, President of YAC, explained “We bring in professionals to present about topics such as event planning, budget, advocacy, and board governance. Many of these skills will benefit us in the years to come as we take on various roles as artists and entrepreneurs.”

The addition of YAC helps us to connect with new students and continue directly working with alumni of our previous programs. By teaching and working together with these students, we can help them continue to grow into their full potential. Yarden added “Real-time student feedback enables Project 440 to continuously evolve to best serve the needs of its students.” By listening and working with these young leaders, we will be able to continue growing and offering the best opportunities, skills and tools that current and future students need to succeed.

Click here for a list of all the new members of the Youth Advisory Council!

 

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Connecting Students with Opportunity at the 2018 College Fair for Musicians

College Fair attendees listening to announcements from the stage. Photo Credit: Chloe Cooper

College Fair attendees listening to announcements from the stage. Photo Credit: Chloe Cooper

Not unlike any big event, months of preparation, organization (spear-headed by no one other than Sam Apgar), and sweat went into putting on our annual College Fair for Musicians, and it was a smashing success, thanks to a team effort from our staff, interns, and volunteers. We could not have been happier with the results—a turn out of over 300 attendees, representatives from 45 colleges, universities, and conservatories from around the country, and press coverage from all local major news stations. You can read more about our Fair in this Inquirer article.

The day before the Fair, Sam, Joseph, Susanna, Andy (our intern), and Youth Advisory Council members stuffed over 400 bags with Project 440 swag, brochures, and programs for our attendees. What could have been a mundane event was actually a nice bonding activity. Agnes, one of our YAC volunteers, was gracious enough to spend her birthday helping Project 440 so there were cupcakes and pizza. Upon the students discovering that Joe had never seen Shrek, Marquise promptly pulled up the movie on the screen, providing background entertainment for the afternoon.

Swag stuffing party! Photo Credit: Samantha Apgar

Swag stuffing party! Photo Credit: Samantha Apgar

Clark Connor leads a workshop on recording yourself for auditions. Photo Credit: Rick Urbanowski

Clark Connor leads a workshop on recording yourself for auditions. Photo Credit: Rick Urbanowski

The day of the College Fair started bright and early for Team Project 440 with a 7am arrival at the Kimmel Center.  It was all worth it as our college registration, attendee registration, and set up for the 6 workshops on college admissions topics went smoothly.  The morning sessions included An Overview of College Prep, College Audition Prep, and Leadership and Entrepreneurship in Music. The afternoon sessions were on Scholarships and Financial Aid, College Essay Writing, and Tips on Recording Yourself for Auditions. Students seemed to find the Audition workshops to be the most helpful in addressing anxieties about this part of the application process.

Councilman David Oh presenting Joseph Conyers with Citation from the City Council. Photo Credit: Ed Hille

Councilman David Oh presenting Joseph Conyers with Citation from the City Council. Photo Credit: Ed Hille

City Councilman David Oh made an appearance close to lunchtime to present Joseph with a citation recognizing the important work Project 440 is doing for the Philadelphia community. “Whereas, the College Fair for Musicians is an extraordinary opportunity that helps young musicians to connect to advanced education resources and be more effective in the realm of music and society by providing them with much needed leadership and talents that will strengthen our Music Community, our City, and our Country.” While what drives Joseph and Team Project 440 to work tirelessly towards putting on an event like the College Fair for Musicians comes from our deep desire to “do good,” it is nice to have some public recognition. We were truly happy that Joseph received this honor during the Fair.

Juilliard representative speaking to College Fair attendee. Photo Credit: Rick Urbanowski

Juilliard representative speaking to College Fair attendee. Photo Credit: Rick Urbanowski


The feedback we’ve been receiving from the attendee’s post-College Fair surveys has been overwhelmingly positive. Many attendees felt that they were “exposed to many more options for colleges,” “more open to different types of programs in college,” and “were considering different career paths in music.” Attendees were impressed with the diversity and the number of colleges that were present at the Fair and found that the college representatives were “welcoming in their ability to answer any question no matter how vague or specific,” “ informative and approachable,” and “knew what kind of student the school generally attracts.”

Cigus “The College Fairy” Vanni presenting a workshop on An Overview of College Prep. Photo Credit: Ed Hille

Cigus “The College Fairy” Vanni presenting a workshop on An Overview of College Prep. Photo Credit: Ed Hille

Cigus, the College Fairy, who teaches Instruments for Success and led the Overview of College Prep workshops says: "How great is it when forty-five of the colleges and conservatories with the most high-quality music programs in the country come to YOUR venue for YOU?  That's what a college fair is--and it provides each student with the opportunity to interact personally with school representatives that can answer questions, address concerns and provide insight and nuance.  Finding the right "fit" between student and program is critical--and what a great opportunity the college fair provides!"

Winner of the Sixers tickets in the raffle at the end of the day. Photo Credit: Rick Urbanowski

Winner of the Sixers tickets in the raffle at the end of the day. Photo Credit: Rick Urbanowski

The day concluded with a raffle drawing for attendees who attended 3 or more workshops offered throughout the day. Through in-kind sponsorships, we were able to give away a Wawa gift basket, gift cards to Cheesecake Factory, Chipotle, Amazon, and South, concert tickets to Philly POPs, Kimmel Center, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and perhaps most excitingly, Sixers tickets donated to us by Board member, Jonathan Fink. The look on the winner’s face just says it all— hopefully he left the Fair with a lot of great information on college admissions, but he may have been most happy to leave with those Sixers tickets in hand :)

*Many many thanks are in order to all of our in-kind sponsors; all of our raffle items were donations from Board members Mary Javian, Blake Espy, Jon Fink, plus all of the organizations named above; the print job of our beautiful programs were donated to us by Media Copy; our day was captured by the talents of Ed Hille, Rick Urbanowski, and our very own Chloe Cooper; lunchtime entertainment was provided by the Dan McCain Quartet; Fox & Hound offered us coupons for attendee swag bags; Frederick Oster Fine Violins and Stephanie M. Schwartzberg Esq. were fiscal sponsors. And of course thank you to our volunteer team-- YAC members, Thomas Meany, and Teresa Montano.

Photo Credit: Chloe Cooper

Photo Credit: Chloe Cooper

 

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A Project 440 Alum Returns: A Reflection from Hannah Silverberg

 
Hannah at a Project 440 event in June.

Hannah at a Project 440 event in June.

 
Hannah playing flute at a Project 440/Philadelphia International Music Festival community performance.

Hannah playing flute at a Project 440/Philadelphia International Music Festival community performance.

Hannah is a rising sophomore at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. She is also an alumna of both All City Orchestra and Project 440! It was such a treat to have her with us this summer and we are so impressed by the leadership that she showed as our Program Intern. Read more about her experience below!

 

Q: What made you decide to intern with Project 440?
During my last years of high school, I gained valuable information from the workshops available to me as well as the amazing opportunity of being a fellow in the Project 440 fellowship program. I knew that I was so lucky to have this experience, and since I wanted to give back and help others the way I was helped, I saw this internship as the perfect medium. It provided me with a way to help aspiring musicians as well as learn a new hands-on experiences that could not be gained from conservatory education alone. 

Q: What are the key things you learned from the internship?
One big thing that I learned is that in working for an organization that is dedicated to doing good, no job, no matter how small, is insignificant. The word ‘intern’ sometimes comes with the connotation of repetitive and less exciting work, but in the end, the work that gets done affects everyone in the organization positively and is of service to the students we are dedicated to helping. I learned that, just as every cog is important in the functioning of a machine, it was important and motivating to me to step back and look at the big picture of how Project 440 operates and helps. The biggest insight that I was able take away from the internship was learning that when you are working with the right people in the right organization, that has a mission you believe in, and everyone’s heart is in the right place –– then you are willing to do the best job you can, and go above and beyond, which makes the outcome even more rewarding! 

Q: What aspects of the internship did you enjoy the most?
I really enjoyed being able to see an organization from both sides –– from the perspective of the providers of our services and from the perspective of those we have served. Since I was a student in high school receiving information from the organization, I was excited to intern with Project 440 because I knew of all the benefits this organization can provide to aspiring musicians and I knew the tools for success that were offered. Everyone who is involved with Project 440 truly believes in the good of the organization and the good works of the organization, which inspired me everyday to work my hardest. The Project 440 team may be small, but together, provide experiences that can change a life.

 

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From the Classroom to Practice: A Reflection from Zoë Yeshayahu

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Zoë is a rising senior at DePauw University, where she is pursuing a Bachelor of Musical Arts with an emphasis in business. This summer, Project 440 was lucky enough to have Zoë join us as an Administrative Intern! Below she shares some reflections on her time with the organization. 

We at Project 440 would like to thank Zoë for all of her hard work! We'll definitely miss having her as a part of the team.

Q: What made you decide to intern with Project 440?
A: Last summer when I worked for a small nonprofit group, I learned that going into this summer I wanted to continue working with small organizations that seek to include and mentor aspiring youth. Project 440 seemed like the perfect fit! What attracted me the most was Project 440's mission statement:
“Project 440 engages, educates and inspires young musicians, providing them with the career and life skills they need to develop into tomorrow's civic-minded, entrepreneurial leaders.” 
I felt that the mission statement fits in well with what I love the most about nonprofit work - helping and inspiring young musicians to keep chasing their dreams of being a musician.

Q: What aspects of this internship surprised you the most?
A: What surprised me was that Sam [the Managing Director] always kept me on my toes. No two days were the same, which was great! Every day I was faced with challenges that pushed my learning and implementing of new skills, such as forcing myself to think outside of the box. The experience was the best surprise I could have asked for. Having this internship allowed me to not only grow in the nonprofit world but also grow as a young adult. 

Q: What aspects of the internship did you enjoy the most?
A: At Project 440,  I was finally able to engage in real-world experiences, putting into practice what I’ve learned in the courses I’ve taken at DePauw. I engaged and was exposed to marketing, finance, handling of different projects, board meetings, and production making, and I also assisted with research and grant applications. Pushing my undergrad education beyond textbook understandings was irreplaceable. A nonprofit internship with Project 440 gave me the opportunity to become engaged in real-world, day-to-day work dedicated to people and music.  

Interns Hannah Silverberg (left) and Zoe Yeshayahu (right) at a Project 440 event.

Interns Hannah Silverberg (left) and Zoe Yeshayahu (right) at a Project 440 event.

Q: What are the key things you learned from the internship?
A: An intern’s role changes quickly so be prepared to:

  • Never expect every day to go as planned

  • Push yourself to think outside the box

  • Be creative in unexpected ways

Hone and take advanced classes in:

  • Video production

  • Marketing

  • Finance

  • iMovie

Q: What are some of your goals for the future?
A: I am going to graduate school to learn and expand my knowledge in Arts Administration. Hopefully, after graduate school, I would be working with a small nonprofit organization and working my way up to lead a nonprofit that will help young musicians grow as artist and entrepreneurs.

 

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Project 440 isn't saying "Goodbye" we are saying "Have fun on your next adventure Leonard!"

On June 7th we said goodbye to our amazing intern Leonard. He will be working with the Philadelphia Orchestra for the rest of the summer!

On June 7th we said goodbye to our amazing intern Leonard. He will be working with the Philadelphia Orchestra for the rest of the summer!

Leonard's Personal Statment

Q: What aspects of this internship surprised you the most?

A: What surprised me the most from my time at Project 440 was how much work can get done with so few people working for the organization. The team of Project 440 may be small, but the things they can get done are truly remarkable. When I was a senior in high school, I remember Project 440 offering a number of workshops for All City musicians. Back then, I thought Project 440 must have been a fairly large organization to be able to offer so many workshops for high school students. Little did I know that all of those workshop were planned and put into fruition by as little as one or two people. I learned that the efforts of a few good people can positively change the lives of a disproportionately large amount of students, and I will never forget that.

Q: What aspects of the internship did you enjoy the most?

A: One of my favorite parts of the internship was being able to see all of the work I did for Project 440 pay off. There were a couple projects which I had been working on for many months and to see them finally completed is the greatest feeling. Some intern work can get fairly tedious, but when it is all finished, that feeling of accomplishment is worth it. Another great aspect of the work was all of the influential people I got to meet and work with over the past seven months. Each person has individual wisdoms which they are happy to pass down and I hope I was able to give my part as well. There is no equivalent to the relationships I have made through Project 440.

Q: What are the key things you learned from the internship?

A: The most important thing I learned is what I previously mentioned: That the efforts of a few good people can positively change the lives of a disproportionately large amount of students. However, that is not all I learned from my time at Project 440. I learned that a laptop is really all you need to manage a successful organization. I learned that real world experience is much more educational than classroom lectures. I learned that it helps to know people, especially in the arts. Lastly, I learned that it is okay to ask questions if you need help. As an intern, you are not expected to know all the answers right from the get go and I was able to grow from this position because I didn’t know everything. With guidance, I have improved in many areas, including writing, communication, and innovative decision making, all because I was not afraid to ask for help.  

 

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