Harmony Mentorship Program

About Harmony

Launched in fall 2016, Harmony is one of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies’ (GTCYS) educational programs and is designed to create opportunities for underserved students through music. Harmony will now serve 60 third, fourth, and fifth graders at Riverview West Side School of Excellence in St. Paul. Participants develop artistic and life skills in the after school music program that includes group violin instruction, semi-private lessons, and music enrichment sessions, transportation, performance opportunities, concert outings, and mentoring by other GTCYS musicians. Harmony’s objectives include:

  • Break down barriers for participation in music
  • Provide an entry point to and continuum on a musical path
  • Boost students’ artistic success and impact their learning abilities
  • Bring joy to students and their families lives and provide an outlet for creativity
  • Expand students’ awareness of and interest in arts participation and careers

Learn more about Harmony here.

Please read all of the criteria below before applying. We are no longer accepting students for the Senior Harmony Mentor position for the 2018-19 season, but we still have slots open for the junior mentorship position grades 8 and up.

Who is eligible to serve as a Harmony Mentor?

Violin and viola players in college as well as 11th and 12th graders are eligible to serve as Senior Harmony Mentors with a stipend per session. Students in grades 8 and above are eligible to serve as volunteer Junior Mentors. Current GTCYS students and recent alumni are strongly encouraged to apply.

What do GTCYS Harmony Mentors do?

Mentors provide valuable peer-to-peer inspiration and will help Harmony students see their own future potential as young musicians. Duties may include:

  • Play violin/viola in a side-by-side capacity at rehearsals and serve as a musical role model by demonstrating posture, position, tone, intonation, pulse, rhythm, eye contact, and artistry.
  • Demonstrate specific musical excerpts so Harmony musicians can hear a good aural example of what the conductor is describing and what the orchestra is trying to achieve.
  • Lead “mini-sectionals,” working on musical and technical details with a small student group during rehearsal.
  • Provide more individualized instruction to specific students who need it during class. This will be done in short periods of time to reinforce what is being taught in the regular class.

Why should you be a mentor?

  • Be a meaningful part of younger musicians’ learning and development.
  • Gain valuable leadership and volunteer experience.
  • Develop confidence by demonstrating in front of a group and instructing small groups.
  • Strengthen your own learning by instructing others.
  • Get a taste of what it’s like to be part of the music education field.


  • Senior Mentors will receive $25 stipend per class in recognition of the more advanced level and consistent time commitment. Junior Mentors will not receive a stipend.

When and where will you mentor, and what’s the time commitment?

  • Harmony sessions take place at Riverview West Side School of Excellence (160 Isabel Street East in the West Side neighborhood of St. Paul) on the following days:
    • Tuesdays: 3:30 – 4:45pm
    • Wednesdays: 3:30 – 4:45pm
    • Thursdays: 3:30 – 4:45pm
  • Time commitment:
    • Senior Mentors are asked to commit one day a week, October through mid-May 2018. A maximum of 4 absences is allowed.
    • Preference for Senior Mentors will be given to applicants who can commit to attending each Tuesday, Wednesday, or both.
    • The application form includes a question to identify applicants’ schedule availability.
    • Junior Mentors may attend as many rehearsals they wish. We ask that they let us know beforehand using the Google form below.

How will GTCYS support the mentors?

  • Mentors will participate in an orientation session with the Community Engagement Coordinator before their mentorship begins.
  • The Harmony Coordinator and the Community Engagement Coordinator will serve as mentors’ primary contacts.
  • Mentors should be in contact with the Conductor and Coordinator at every rehearsal to check in, ask about that day’s priorities, and report about anything they observed during rehearsal.
  • Mentors will receive occasional emails from Teaching Artists, Harmony Coordinator, and Community Engagement Coordinator to stay informed about program details.
  • GTCYS staff will approve mentors’ hours for college credit, service projects, or volunteer hours.

How will GTCYS select the mentors?

  • Mentors will be selected according to availability to commit to Harmony’s schedule, as well as the applicant’s musical abilities and experience with youth.
  • Applying to be a mentor, or previous participation as a mentor, does not guarantee placement.
  • GTCYS is no longer accepting Senior Mentors for the 2018-19 season.

If you are interested in being a Harmony Junior Mentor, sign up here. If you were interested in being a senior mentor but missed the deadline, please consider signing up to be a junior mentor!


Please contact Naomi Schroeter at naomi@gtcys.org or 651.602.6809, or Gracie Miller at Gracie@gtcys.org or 651.602.6806 with any questions.

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