In September of 2017, the UD Little Masters Project (LMP), presented by the UD Master Players Concert Series (Master Players), was launched to provide free private music lessons, music theory classes and instruments to children of low-income households in Delaware and the nearby tri-state communities. The mission of LMP is to provide music education and opportunities to students in need because we believe that experiencing live music is essential for children of all backgrounds.
The first school to benefit from this program was Bayard Middle School in Wilmington, DE, and the project has been a resounding success. On Dec. 9, 2017, just three months after launching the project, four students from Bayard Middle School walked onstage at the Master Players' Holiday Pops concert at the University of Delaware to show what they learned in front of an audience of almost 600 people. The students collaborated with their teachers for a performance of a Hanukkah medley that was met with uproarious applause. These students were the first participants; then, LMP opened its doors to the public.
Now in its fourth year, the Little Masters Project is now collaborating with the UD Community Music School (CMS) to provide free music theory and private music lessons. Participating students will be given instruments to keep and will receive free music lessons from the talented instructors during after-school hours at the University of Delaware's campus or online. LMP will continue to inspire the students by providing them with thrilling performance opportunities to share the stage with professional musicians.
During these uncertain times, music has been a constant. The presence of music can bring such joy and creativity to a young mind. Music can also be a great escape from some troublesome realities. For the under-served communities that the Little Masters Project targets in these precarious times, music is more important now than ever.
Many thanks to our advisory council member Mr. Randy Stone, who is leading the 4th year of fundraising for Little Masters Project. We hope to continue to offer the Little Masters Project to the public in the fall of 2021.
In addition to the free-of-charge private lessons (45 minutes/week), music theory classes and free instruments, Master Players will provide everything young musicians and LMP teachers would need to successfully hold a musical lesson online. Online music learning gear provided by the program will include all the necessary technical equipment (webcam, USB microphone, headphones and interface with cables) and shipping.