Music instruction is at its best when it centers the student’s voice, thereby increasing student leadership and a sense of ownership of their education. Side-by-Side does this by placing young people alongside established musicians in a collaborative learning environment where they are viewed as equal contributors. They get to be teachers and students, speakers and listeners, at the same time.
Honoring process over product, Longy’s Side-by-Side Program follows an apprenticeship model centered on access, inclusion, and equity; throughout the year, students might lead a piece, run a rehearsal, or compose music for a performance. Along the way, they are empowered to view themselves as equals in music-making without the stress of being “good” enough. Open to all music students (grades K-12) of any skill level, this program invites participants to play alongside Longy conservatory students and guest musicians. Learning side-by-side—with each other and from each other.
Side-by-Side students are invited to:
- Come as they are. Even in group settings, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Whether playing in the Beginner or Intermediate/Advanced group, each student is challenged by facilitators who understand their unique abilities.
- Join a supportive community. In sharing the stage with the professionals, students build lifelong memories in music. More than that, though, they get a chance to connect with their peers across the state, joining an artistic community that welcomes all.
- Share input, share experience. Our Artistic Directors and faculty invite Side-by-Side participants to actively influence the program – from how they learn, to which pieces they play, to expressing how they feel. Side-by-Side participants have agency. How they learn, which pieces they play, and what they feel—our Artistic Directors and renowned faculty invite them to share it all.
- Collaborate with other members of the community. All students also work alongside community partners, such as the Perkins School for the Blind, so that K-12 students and graduate students see themselves as part of a larger world of music-making and community enrichment.