FAYM Spring Recital
Their aim was to offer low-cost music instruction to youngsters in underserved neighborhoods in Las Vegas. The program has grown from 15 to over 150 students from 51 elementary schools currently enrolled in two community center locations for after-school lessons beginning in third grade. What's more, FAYM has exciting plans for further expansion.
The mission of the Foundation to Assist Young Musicians is to encourage and support gifted young musicians in (1) early training, (2) advanced study, and (3) professional career development, specifically those who are in need of financial and/or mentoring support up to the age of 26. In addition, an important part of the FAYM mission is to develop programs for the support of needy children in receiving music education.
As an affiliate of the worldwide El Sistema movement, FAYM's "Violins for Kids" project provides youngsters with instruments, materials, two to three lessons a week, a weeklong music camp experience in June, and special musical field trips for just $20 per month. Parents are urged to attend lessons with their children to form a strong, common family bond. In addition to violin training, classes are offered in cello, beginning and advanced string orchestra, and Mariachi.
Cofounder Hal Weller writes:
"Scholarship and career assistance has been offered from the beginning and has reached students not only in Las Vegas and the U.S. but across the world--in Poland, Australia, Germany, Peru, and the U.K. to name just a few.
To our great fortune, Las Vegas has one of the very finest music education programs in the nation. Through our "Violins for Kids" program we hope to level the playing field by starting kids who otherwise could not afford instruments and lessons at the third grade level so that by the time they enter CCSD's instrumental training in sixth grade, they are at least equal to those whose families are better off.
Also, the intent from the beginning of FAYM has been to make sure that from every dollar contributed to FAYM, at least $0.99 goes directly to the cause of bringing music into the lives of those who cannot afford instruments, materials, and lessons.
As a result, FAYM pays no CEO, has no office or facility rents, no phone bills, or other such overhead. Our instruments are purchased at cost and cared for by a luthier (a maker of stringed instruments, board member Juan Soto), who generously gives his labor pro bono. Accounting, Internet service, and social media functions are also provided on a pro bono basis. Our board is composed of devoted individuals who make sure that the nearly "zero overhead" construct remains an essential part of FAYM.
Our FAYM parents and relatives are super invested in "Violins for Kids." Over the years, they have held fund-raisers that have been a major factor in subsidizing the program, and they have actively participated in the classes and board.
For those interested in donating time, talent, or treasure, Arturo Ochoa, I, and others on our board would be happy to hear from you. Just e-mail FAYM@live.com."
For more information about the Foundation to Assist Young Musicians, visit http://thefaym.org/
William (Bill) Heck, Contributing Reviewer
Among my early childhood memories are those of listening to my mother playing records (some even 78 rpm ones!) of both classical music and jazz tunes. I suppose that her love of music was transmitted genetically, and my interest was sustained by years of playing in rock bands – until I realized that this was no way to make a living. The interest in classical music was rekindled in grad school when the university FM station serving as background music for studying happened to play the Brahms First Symphony. As the work came to an end, it struck me forcibly that this was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard, and from that point on, I never looked back. This revelation was to the detriment of my studies, as I subsequently spent way too much time simply listening, but music has remained a significant part of my life. These days, although I still can tell a trumpet from a bassoon and a quarter note from a treble clef, I have to admit that I remain a nonexpert. But I do love music in general and classical music in particular, and I enjoy sharing both information and opinions about it.
The audiophile bug bit about the same time that I returned to that classical music. I’ve gone through plenty of equipment, brands from Audio Research to Yamaha, and the best of it has opened new audio insights. Along the way, I reviewed components, and occasionally recordings, for The $ensible Sound magazine. Recently I’ve rebuilt--I prefer to say reinvigorated--my audio system, with a Sangean FM HD tuner and (for the moment) an ancient Toshiba multi-format disk player serving as a transport, both feeding a NAD C 658 streaming preamp/DAC, which in turn connects to a Legacy Powerbloc2 amplifier driving my trusty Waveform Mach Solo speakers, supplemented by a Hsu Research ULS 15 Mk II subwoofer.