Tucson Summer Music is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides free music education to children aged 5-13 from low-income families. Beyond this purpose, TSM has five additional goals.
1. To provide equal access to education, and to supplement the education system during the economic crisis and budget cuts.
2. To provide college students and community members the opportunities to give back to their community and to gain experience working with children and teaching music.
3. To help to improve public safety by providing Tucson’s youth with an amazing, intellectual, and gratifying hobby.
4. To provide our TSM community with cultural awareness of the musical traditions around them in Tucson.
Tucson Summer Music provides free 30-minute private music lessons to children aged 5-13 from low-income families. The instrument selection varies year to year because we are staffed completely by volunteers. In the past we have offered lessons on flute, piano, guitar, clarinet, trumpet, violin, cello, among others. In addition to private lessons we also offer 1-hour group music theory lessons, ensembles for students with prior music experience, and 1-hour group percussion classes. If our families do not have access to an instrument or are unable to rent their own instrument, TSM provides assistance.
TSM runs the first full week of June through the last week of July, ending in a final recital. In addition to the regular weekly lessons, we also provide a Culture Concert where we have local musicians perform for our students to increase awareness.
All lessons take place at St. Philips Parish at Campbell and River. The available times are Monday-Friday between 10:00am-5:00pm. Students and teachers work together to find an appropriate time. Music theory, ensembles, and percussion take place on Saturday mornings between 9:00am-12:00pm.
We are always looking for volunteers! Volunteers can take on as many students as they like, depending on their time commitment. Weekly time commitment can range from as little as 30-minutes to as many students as time allows. To become a volunteer, we require an application, resume, interview, references, and background check for the safety of our students.
Information on what “low-income” means to TSM: While we do not have a formal income requirement, we rely on our families to self-select. We do require that our families would be unable to provide music education to their children without TSM.