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Mentoring with Music

The Signature Symphony's string quartet performs at the Eugene Fields Elementary School in West Tulsa as the Mentoring to Music program is announced.

By John Durkee


Tulsa, OK – On May 12, 2009, Mayor Kathy Taylor kicked off a brand-new mentoring initiative called, "Mentoring to the Max with Music. This new program came about through the leadership and vision of Dr. Barry Epperley, artistic director and conductor for TCC's Signature Symphony. Dr. Epperley said, "The fact is that music is the universal language because that's how we're built and we can measure it. An individual's brain lights up when music is played during a CAT scan or an MRI -- it's how we're made."

Dr. Epperley has worked with the Mayor's Office and the Community Service Council since the fall of 2008 to offer a program that can reach Tulsa area kids through the powerful and inspiring gift of music. Dr. Epperley is dedicated to bringing back music programs within Tulsa area schools -- he is also working to connect musical mentors with young, at-risk students who are unable to access private or small group instruction.

The Mentoring with Music program is looking for 40 music mentors to help out during the summer at Eugene Field and Kendall-Whittier Elementary Schools. "Mentoring to the Max has been so successful at our school that we were thrilled to move it to a new level with music," said Cindi Hemm, principal at Eugene Field, "because music speaks to our soul!" Judy Feary, principal at Kendall-Whittier said, "Music mentors will allow our students in the Mayor's Mentoring to the Max program the experience of working with professional musicians and further their involvement with the strings programs."

Mentoring has been proven to reduce crime, help kids miss fewer days of school and improve their grades. It has the power to help children reach their fullest potential and prepares them to be successful throughout the course of their lives.

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