Music Opportunities for ELLs and Underprivileged Students

Rosie’s House is a music academy that is run and located in Phoenix, AZ.  It is completely free for the students, that are in grades K-12.  There is no tuition, because it is run on donations and grants, and it is run out of a church that does not charge for the use of the facility.  The academy also provides the students with instruments (on loan while they are attending), free of charge, and these are acquired through donations.  The only requirement from the students and their families is that the parents have to donate their time and provide community service.  In order to get into the academy, the student’s family must be in a certain income range (low) and there is an interview and audition process, merely for the people to determine if they think that they can work with students, and to test that the students do have some sort of music competency/musicality.  There is a limit to the amount of classes that students can take, because this opens more opportunities for more students to join.

The main focus of the academy is to give students with no musical opportunities the opportunity to study music.  This normally means that the students live in areas where there is no music program in their school, for a variety of reasons, or they simply cannot afford to participate in any available music programs.  Keeping everything free is the biggest thing, because it is in place to help underprivileged students the opportunity to have this experience.  The families have to be low-income, and according to someone I interviewed that has observed Rosie’s House, most of the children that attend are not ‘white,’ they are mixed-race or Hispanic, or some other minority.  A lot of the students are bilingual, which goes along with a high Hispanic enrollment.  One can infer that some of these students are ELLs, even though they are all probably fluent in English.  Sometimes ELLs are limited in the activities that they can participate in, and Rosie’s House is a great one for students in the Phoenix area.  Teachers should be aware of opportunities like this in their communities, to help all students, not just ELLs, get the music education in their lives that they need.




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