Joy of Music School in Knoxville provides free lessons and mentorship

Music is, of course, central to the Joy of Music School, but an equally important aspect is the one-on-one and caring mentorship students receive.

The organization offers free group and one-on-one lessons, teaching a wide range of instruments, from multiple types of guitars to keyboards and violins. The school is one of his designated grant recipients by A Community Thrives, the charity of Knox News and its parent company Gannett. This year the school received her $2,000.

Since 2017, A Community Thrives has helped over 500 organizations with a total donation of over $17 million.

Knox News spoke with Julie Carter, the school’s Director of Music Education, to learn more about the school’s efforts and its impact on the community.

Julie Carter, Director of Music Education at Joy of Music School, believes that music education is important for everyone. The program received another grant from the A Community Thrives program.  (Photo: Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel)

What is the most rewarding part of working at school?

people. Really all the people who come through our door both on the volunteer teacher side and the family side, and many community members who support our school. I am really lucky to work here. Because you have to meet and work with all these people.

What kind of classes are there and up to what age can I attend?

A lesson room at the Joy of Music School near downtown Knoxville on Tuesday, November 22, 2022.

We serve children ages 6 to 18. We offer private lessons and match students with volunteer teachers for those lessons. There are also classes such as an introductory music class for 7 year olds and a music maker class for 8 to 11 year olds. We also have a ukulele class.

Who are the volunteer teachers? What brought them to school?

We have a wide variety of teachers. We have a retired musician and his members of the community who are professionals in other fields who just want to get in touch with their music and are looking for volunteer opportunities. We also have students from the University of Tennessee, especially the School of Music. For example, we partner with a string pedagogy class, so some students come here to teach as a lab for that class. For community members who go the distance here, they’re really just driven by the program.

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