Sonido Musica

festive painted mural

Sonido Musica is a Creative Youth Development program, in partnership with Springfield and Holyoke public schools, to support musical learning, social-emotional growth, and leadership development for youth.

Students in Sonido Musica participate in weekly ensemble music classes during school, led by CMSS faculty. This opportunity is available to elementary, middle and high school students at any experience level in schools that have agreed to partner with CMSS. Sonido Musica provides instruction and an instrument to each student at no cost to their family.

By providing high quality music education with Social-Emotional Learning components, Sonido helps youth develop expressive skills, problem solving skills, and perseverance. Through performance opportunities, youth build courage and self-confidence. Through a group dynamic of community care, support, and respect, students develop their ability to relate to others and build connections with people from different backgrounds and generations.

The Sonido Musica Story

In 2014, as music programs in the Springfield Public Schools (SPS) had experienced decades of cuts, SPS Director of Visual & Performing Arts and CMSS’ Executive Director formed a partnership program to systematically build music education back into the schools. CMSS hired a program director/teaching artist with experience in urban public schools to develop and implement Sonido Musica.

In its first year, Sonido Musica provided weekly ensemble music instruction to 60 students from 3 Springfield middle schools.  Now in its 8th year, Sonido has expanded to 31 elementary, middle and high schools and over 1,000 students throughout Springfield and Holyoke. Multi-year data collected by Springfield Public Schools indicates that Sonido participants have increased attendance and decreased disciplinary incidents compared to non-participants.

In a recent expansion informed by student input, Sonido Musica developed the Young Composers and Producers program (YCP). The YCP introduces young people to the composition of music in the digital realm including the mechanics of a Digital Audio Workstation, music literacy, form, theory, and lyric writing.

Sonido Musica Faculty

Eleni Yalanis, Program Director and Teaching Artist (Strings)
Rick Marshall, Program Coordinator and Teaching Artist (Percussion)
Yoonhee Ko, Program Coordinator and Teaching Artist (Strings)
Jeff Fennell, Program Coordinator and Teaching Artist (Woodwinds)
Justin Esiason, Program Coordinator and Teaching Artist (Brass and Music Production)
Zachary Bartolomei, Teaching Artist (Woodwinds)
Will Carroll, Teaching Artist (Percussion)
David Casali, Teaching Artist (Strings)
Courtney Castaneda, Teaching Artist (Strings)
Mia Friedman, Teaching Artist (Strings)
Jesey Meche, Teaching Artist (Percussion and Music Production)
Tara Murphy, Teaching Artist (African Dance and Drumming)
Mendon Neyerlin, Teaching Artist (Brass)
Care O’Leary, Teaching Artist (Strings)
Anna Pless, Teaching Artist (Brass)
Trevor Pitts, Teaching Artist (Percussion)
Eya Setsu, Teaching Artist (Strings)
I-SHEA, Teaching Artist (Percussion)
Sammi Shea, Teaching Artist (Woodwinds)
Alton Skinner, Teaching Artist (Woodwinds)
Dean Yalanis, Teaching Artist (Percussion)

Funding for Sonido Musica

Sonido Musica is supported in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which receives funding from the State of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Sonido Musica is also supported by D’Addario Foundation, an anonymous foundation, and generous individual contributors.

Sonido Musica expands access to music education for Springfield and Holyoke youth. If you would like to support our work, please make a gift today.

CMSS Perform-A-Thon