Mentors in Music

Mountains Youth Band offers outstanding musical development opportunities for youth instrumentalists under the age of 19 years in the Blue Mountains. It promotes access to these experiences for all youth in the Blue Mountains, enabling those who do not have access to quality musical activities through school and other organisations to participate.

We encourage membership from young instrumentalists who are beyond the beginner stage. This sometimes means that we welcome musicians with emerging skills but little or no experience in the concert band setting.

Mentors in Music is a dedicated mentoring program specifically designed to support young instrumentalists in their first few weeks to months of joining our youth concert band. We recognise that joining a band for the first time can be daunting and even overwhelming. Our aim is to ensure young instrumentalists coming to Mountains Youth Band are given as much support as possible to reduce the chance that they will feel out of their depth and be discouraged. At the same time, the Mentors in Music program is an excellent way for our older band members to show leadership and to get some tutoring experience.

Each mentoring experience can be different. A mentor can meet with the youth player in the hour before band starts and talk about the music and what happens in a concert band. They can sit with the youth instrumentalist during rehearsal, providing tips on ensemble playing, explaining the dynamics, interpreting the conductor’s gestures, explaining the feedback from the conductor, and how each music part and its information is shown on the page.

Mentors are available in upper and lower brass; different woodwinds; saxophone and horn; and percussion. We engage a trumpet mentor to provide a mentoring session for those youth trumpet players who will be performing the Last Post and Reveille at various Anzac Day services. This occasion can be challenging for a young instrumentalist and an experienced mentor can be invaluable in preparing the trumpet player for this important community service. We are fortunate to have a range of talented Mentors in Music to call upon who are pleased to support our young instrumentalists. Some of these mentors are past Mountains Youth Band players or local tutors and teachers.

The Mentors in Music program is funded by a grant provided by the Minister for the Arts, administered through the Band Association of NSW.

In essence, Mentors in Music helps the new band member to focus on transforming the technical knowledge acquired from their tutor into the ensemble experience.