Senior Lindsay Player’s 5-year-old student Matthew ran off the stage immediately after finishing his piece at his first piano recital. Now, four years later, Matthew enjoys playing Ludwig van Beethoven and delivers a huge bow at the end of his performances.
Musical Empowerment, a student organization and nonprofit, made this transformation possible. In a world where learning to play an instrument is often a privilege denied to low-income students, the organization attempts to address that while creating a mentorship between teachers and students.
Player, co-president of the organization, said she wants students to be able to have the beneficial arts education that she had growing up, and she sees that in Matthew.
“At the end of every performance now, he gives a big bow, and he's so proud of himself,” Player said. “It's just so easy for him to get up there now. Just seeing that growth is crazy, especially with that first lesson where he was just so shy.”
The organization began as Carolina Music Outreach in 2002, created by then-UNC student Christine Moseley. Musical Empowerment became a nonprofit around 10 years later and expanded to have chapters at North Carolina State University and Wake Forest University with more in the works. Junior co-president Evan Linett said the organization provides unique skills and experiences to the students it serves.