Empowering Youth through Music

March 23, 2016

One Teen Dreams of Becoming a Musician

Music has the power to positively change the course of a young person's life, particularly in the area of mental health.  For Maggie*, a teen musician at Edgewood’s Community School, the opportunity is doing exactly that.

Thanks to music teacher Lane Murchison of Bird School of Music in San Francisco and a host of Bay Area musicians committed to providing music to at-risk youth, an Edgewood student, who had expressed interest in learning music, was selected and received a complete music instruction package.  The gift included a brand new red acoustic/electric guitar with a built in tuner, a hard case and straps, free weekly lessons, educational books on guitar and notebooks for writing music, the opportunity to visit and record at the Bird School of Music recording studio, and ongoing mentorship as she develops into a young adult musician.

“It makes me feel great, like I’m a good person, that I do good things and not just cause bad things,” reflects teen musician Maggie.

Maggie struggles with ADHD and depression and shares that she gets distracted during regular conversation and interaction, but she becomes focused and calm while playing guitar.  

“Music can be so touching, so close. It makes me feel certain feelings. I’m really excited to learn this.”

Maggie’s teacher, Lane, believes strongly in a growth mindset and a commitment to working hard to be successful. His own path to becoming a Bay Area musician was peppered with memories of a sometimes difficult childhood and young adult life that lacked focus. Like Maggie, Lane found solace and mindfulness when playing music, an experience that helped turn the path of his life around.  

His commitment to providing free music lessons to at-risk youth is ingrained in his approach to bridging music and youth. One only needs to walk through Edgewood's campus to observe Maggie confidently playing her own music, a visual that's quite different from the much shyer Maggie of a few months ago.  

“I want to be a musician. I want to sing.  If you want to get better, you really got to want it,” explains Maggie.

By the sound of Maggie’s songs, she is becoming the musician she sees in her future.  

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*The youth's name has been changed to protect her privacy.

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