Music Mentors Strike a Chord With Arcata Youth

Trio of directors Ana Monjaras, Julissa Silva, and Kelsey Hebert head the YES House program North Coast Music Mentors, also known as NCMM. Along with their 8 volunteers, the directors take trips down to Arcata Elementary every Friday afternoon to facilitate music-related activities. Some of the games they might play include well-known activities like “Red Light, Green Light”, but replaced with musical terminology to get the students engaged and excited about music.

NCMM also provides one-on-one music mentoring at the HSU campus, for those students that may be interested. NCMM says it is not imperative that a volunteer or participant know how to play music, in fact two of the directors are not “musically inclined”, as Kelsey phrased it. Key to their mission, NCMM provides parents/kids who would normally not be able to afford music lessons an opportunity and an outlet.

Kelsey says it is wonderful and rewarding to see the children grow in both their musical endeavors and alongside their peers socially. She says the kids, over time, have become more comfortable participating in the games, as well as leading them. They have also bonded well with the NCMM volunteers, cutely nicknaming them the “Bucket Band”, as NCMM trucks down to the elementary school with buckets and drumsticks in hand for them.

NCMM hopes to provide the kids with more music exposure in the near future by taking them on field trips, such as the Humboldt State Calypso Band. Kelsey said she remembers going on field trips when she was younger and what a great impact they made. NCMM hopes to provide the same experience and opportunities for their participants.