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Future Music Project at Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute offers young people hands-on experience in all facets of contemporary music making through the Future Music Project, a set of after-school programs in the Resnick Education Wing. In weekly workshops throughout the school year that range from songwriting and digital music creation to concert production, teens learn the skills needed to create, perform, and produce their own original music. They also participate in the conception and design of the programs themselves, helping them to build critical thinking and leadership skills.

To complement this initiative, WMI plans to launch a New York City–based youth ensemble in the 2015–2016 season in which 15–20 teens (ages 14–19) come together to create a youth-led, youth-run, youth-produced musical collective. Through their work, members of the ensemble will represent a range of musical backgrounds and genres underlined by the unique perspectives of a dynamic group of artistic teens.

Four young people were recently asked to share their thoughts about these programs and what they’ve learned so far in this inaugural year.


Youth Programs - Sabrina  

Sabrina Vozikis
Francis Lewis High School in Queens

As an artist, how would you describe yourself?

I usually characterize myself as a Brazilian-American artist who likes to explore different tastes and styles. I like rock music, and I like to play a lot of jazz—especially Brazilian jazz or Brazilian music and bossa nova. I really just like to play a lot of different genres and mix them together.

How did you learn about this program?

I found out about Carnegie Hall’s Future Music Project through the Concert Choir at my school. My teacher gave us the information, saying that there were these three classes at Carnegie Hall and that anyone could sign up. I thought there was a catch because I didn’t have to audition or do anything else. I just had to put my name down and say what I wanted.

Why did you start coming?

I started coming because I don’t really have an environment or a place to do my music. At home, the only place I have is my room, but someone always complains that I’m being too loud, or saying “now is not the time” or to put my headphones on. But I don’t like putting my headphones on because I like hearing it resonate in the room. I like the raw sound when it’s loud. So that’s why I come.


 
Youth Programs - Ana  

Ana Lucía Galarza
The City College of New York

As an artist, how would you describe yourself?

I am a Latina musician and composer. I was born in Spain to Ecuadorian parents, and I grew up in Connecticut. My mom is from a musical family—I am now part of the sixth generation of musicians. My parents encouraged me to play the cello when I was eight, but I’ve since found that composition and songwriting are the best ways for me to be creative.

How did you learn about this program?

The first time I ever came to Carnegie Hall was when my mom took me see a Yo-Yo Ma concert when I was 13. All of my teachers said to get to Carnegie Hall you have to practice, practice, practice. And now I’m here! But I also Google everything. I found WMI’s Musical Exchange website and saw that it was geared towards youth who wanted to pursue music. Then I saw a post about digital music production classes, so I signed up.

Why do you keep coming back?

It’s the perfect space to write music—a space where people are doing what they want to do. We all have similar interests, so everyone’s here supporting each other and collaborating. It’s really beneficial—not just for people who want to pursue music, but also for people who maybe don’t have creative programs in their schools. It’s a good space to be.


 
Youth Programs - Justin  

Justin Salusso
Brooklyn College

As an artist, how would you describe yourself?

I would say I’m an artist looking to diversify his sound and become more versatile. When I came to Carnegie Hall, I was only good at doing one thing. Now I’m good at doing many things because of working with different people. It’s more like a team instead of everyone just coming here for themselves.

Why did you start coming?

I started coming so that I could get better at my sound. I could be in my bedroom all day rapping, writing, and making beats, but once I present it to other people, I can hear their reactions and feedback. I can take that all into account so I can make myself a better artist.

Why do you keep coming back?

You become a more versatile, complete musician here. Every single week I feel like I’m getting extra experience, moving another level up.


 
Youth Programs - Justino  

Justino Williams
John Browne High School in Queens

As an artist, how would you describe yourself?

I make hip-hop music. I write and I write—I’m often a very quiet individual. But I’m also open-minded and meet a lot of different people at Carnegie Hall who all come from different boroughs.

Why did you start coming?

I started coming because I saw it as an opportunity to meet people with similar interests in music. I felt it was a good way to expand my network, and I wanted to know a lot more about the music industry itself.

Why do you keep coming back?

I keep coming because the people here are amazing. Some of them are like family. I feel like when you come here, there’s always something productive being done. It’s good to be a part of that.


Learn more about Carnegie Hall's Future Music Project.

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