The Longy Difference: Music as Social Change
Gala 2022 Campaign
The Longy Difference: Music as Social Change
The Longy difference is built on leading by example, showing our students what the world of classical music can be and giving them the tools to build it. Our students have passion, potential, and the desire to use their music to change the world. With your support, Longy strives to remove barriers that prevent these musicians from accessing the training and development to achieve their vision.
Becoming the musicians the world needs
In five years, Longy has increased financial aid from $3.5 million to $6.9 million. The need continues to expand, and for many students, financial aid determines if they are able to attend Longy.
Even with very generous financial aid packages, some students need to have 100% of their tuition covered to make conservatory education possible.
You can close the gap between a student’s dream and achievement with your contribution of $10,000 for a named Equity Scholarship.
Equity Scholarships will be awarded in Spring 2022 and announced in Fall 2022.
Student Spotlight: Arson Fahim
Lindsay and Garth Greimann Equity Scholar
“No human should ever be punished for creating something as beautiful as music. Something that means so much to each and every one of us – something that is so powerful and touches the soul unlike anything else. Music is a symbol of hope, change, and love.”
Arson Fahim fell in love with the piano living in an Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan, where he walked into a room where people were watching the film The Pianist. Arson began piano lessons when his family returned to Afghanistan and later began composing, with his performances and compositions heavily influenced by the unrest he lived through in Afghanistan. He arrived in the US to attend Longy a few short days before the Taliban took control of the country. Now, Arson is organizing an ensemble to raise funds and awareness for the musicians of Afghanistan.
Making Their Music Matter
Change begins while students are at Longy, where conservatory students become Teaching Assistants who support local music programs and Sistema Side-by-Side. Side-by-Side is a yearlong series of rehearsals and performances which pairs Longy student mentors with children ages 6-18, enriching the lives of these children while addressing a pressing need for high-quality music education.
Fund half the cost for one child to participate in the year-long Sistema Side-by-Side program. This program is free to all participants.
Fund a full scholarship for the El Sistema Summer Academy
Student Spotlight: Hollyn Slykuis
Mariagiustina Mastrangelo Brosio Memorial Scholar
“I’m so grateful that I can study at a school that values all music making and all music makers. This approach is truly needed in the world.”
Hollyn developed her love of teaching during my time with an El Sistema-inspired program in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she started to see how teaching music can make a difference in communities that are often overlooked. Longy’s Teaching Assistantships and Sistema Side-by-Side program meant that she could have an impact even while she was studying in school. Hollyn has taught close to home at Cambridge Rindge and Latin and over Zoom to K-12 students all over the world through her teaching assistantship. She’s also utilized Longy’s Career Coaching to determine the skills she’ll need to learn in school – like grant writing and entrepreneurship — to become the musician she wants to be.
Studying What’s Important to Them
At Longy, students uncover new ways to make a difference with their music. The School’s curriculum and performance experiences are designed to reflect the depth and breadth of our students’ identities and artistic vision. We aim to:
- Expand upon Longy’s new theory curriculum, which dismantles the traditional Western-focused lens and ensures students see themselves represented in the works they study;
- Create an institution where students’ lived experiences are reflected in the choice of guest artists, pedagogical approaches, and recruitment/retention of faculty from communities underrepresented in classical music; and
- The School is a leader in training performing musicians to provide a healing presence to the most vulnerable in our society. Music as a Healing Art was a pilot project and now is a pillar of our social change programs. Musicians in this class learn to relieve suffering, bring comfort and give respite to individuals in elder and transitional care.
Sponsor a year-long Music as a Healing Art residency at a partner site.
Sponsor one Music as a Healing Art or ground-breaking Music Theory course
Individual Guest Artist Residency
Small Ensemble Guest Artist Residency
Student Spotlight: Janet Lagah-Bonah
Alabama State University Equity Scholar
“I’ve been so excited to learn about Black composers – how they’ve played a role in our musical landscape and their impacts. I’m so glad Longy is an institution that has made this a point of importance through their curriculum.”
Janet is a pianist, vocalist, and composer who seeks to honor the legacy of other Black female composers while staying true to herself and her own experience. A graduate of the HBCU Alabama State University, she first learned of Longy through the school’s partnership with joint online programs and classes. She chose to attend Longy because the Catalyst Curriculum empowered her with the tools to become the musician and person she wants to be. Janet plans to compose and become an arts administrator creating more inclusive spaces behind well-recognized musical entities.
Starting Their Careers Now
Students ready to use their gifts for palliative and therapeutic comfort care can pursue certification as a Music Practitioner through a collaboration with the Music for Healing and Transition Program(TM). This intensive, scientifically-based program puts students on the path to a career using music to create a healing presence for the most vulnerable in hospitals and hospice.
Students can also study culturally responsive and equitable practices for working with families in diverse communities through The Lullaby Project, a partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute and Horizons for Homeless Children. Students work with families experiencing homelessness to achieve the family’s vision of a personal lullaby for their children.
Student Spotlight: Roy Lewis
The Cambridge Homes Certified Music Practitioner Scholar
“I spent a lot of time in hospitals growing up. While I received excellent medical care, my mental, emotional and spiritual needs were unmet. When I found out I could become a Certified Music Practitioner, I knew this was what I was meant to do. I’ve always felt the need to do more with my music, and I am so grateful to have a chance to provide patients with the experiences I didn’t have.”
Roy Lewis’ experiences led them to pursue novel ways of combining music and improvisation with yoga, meditation, and joyful movements. They believe all individuals are whole as they are and Roy seeks to use their music to honor and connect with everyone in their audience – whether it is one person at the bedside in a hospital or a performance for the community. Receiving a Certified Music Practitioner scholarship from Longy allowed them to gain the skills and certification for a career providing therapeutic music to those most in need. In addition to their therapeutic music training, they are also co-creating The Lullaby Project course to explore using music to support vulnerable populations.
Fostering Belonging at Longy
The School recognizes that belonging comes from doing the hard work of nurturing a culture where every student can share their authentic selves – and Longy is here to support them.
By investing in unconscious bias training for all faculty and staff, we will ensure employees have the skills and resources to foster a School culture that honors all lived experiences.
Longy’s student unions, including the:
- Black Student Union
- Latinx Student Union
- Asian Student Alliance
- Queer Student Union
celebrate our students’ many identities, share cultural traditions, and offer a space for students to explore their own and each other’s identities.
Underwrite Diversity Equity Inclusion and Belonging Workshops
Fund a student union for one year
Fund two Emergency Fund stipends
In the past year and a half, 65 students have received stipends from Longy’s emergency fund. These funds allow Longy students to remain in their housing, purchase food, and secure necessary equipment for learning. One unexpected expense of only a few hundred dollars can be enough to force a student to withdraw, and the emergency fund helps to fill the gap.
Student Spotlight: Emmanuel Ramirez
Lia and William Poorvu Longy Fund Scholar
“When you look at a tree, the taller it grows the deeper the roots have to dig. In my artistry, I’m trying to keep growing, and as I continue that growth my roots have to dig deeper. I’ve found Longy and the Latinx Student Union provide that growth and connection for me.”
Emmanuel Ramirez saw how music could bring people together in his own life, when he would play at assisted living homes and see how residents would sing, dance, and connect with both music and musicians – they would become energized and have impromptu jam sessions afterwards. For Emmanuel, sharing the joy of music impacts both the audience and the musician. Harmony, melody, and rhythm join to become a profound expression of humanity, and he intends to use his art both for teaching and for humanitarian work.
Please consider making a gift to support The Longy Difference Campaign. You will help prepare the next generation of citizen-musicians and leaders as they hone their talents and skills to make a difference. The world needs music now more than ever, so we need you more than ever.