from Great Nonprofits (see below)
Julian Wade, Alumnus: The Joy of Music Program (JOMP) is one of those rare organizations that truly impacts people’s lives for the better. I am only an individual among countless who have benefited from all they have to offer. From the time of my youth all the way through college I received music lessons from the faculty at JOMP. I received instruction from some of the most talented and supportive people I have ever met. They inspired you to do and be your best while continually providing a fun and encouraging environment. The community that JOMP provided for me cannot be matched by any other organization that I have come into contact with. They did not simply provide a place for music lessons, but a place to grow as a person. I cannot say enough about what a wonderful organization JOMP is and what wonderful people run it.
I've seen the results of this organization in... My every day life. I would not be the person I am without the Joy of Music Program.
What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is... The community they foster, from young to old. All are welcome and no one is judged.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were... Individuals who not only cared about music but the people as well.
If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could... Enrich and better the lives of many more people through its generous scholarship program.
In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are... Lack of funding for the arts which decreases their ability to extend their scholarship program to more people.
Former Faculty Member, Bridget Kazukiewicz: I served on the faculty at JOMP for 5 years. I have not worked with any organization before or after that can compare to my experience there. I am most struck by Wendy and Rich Ardizzone's purity of intention to bring joyful music experiences to the Worcester community, commitment and tireless work, and total success in achieving their mission. Because of this, they attract staff and faculty with similar commitment and enthusiasm and have created an amazing sense of community. I felt valued, appreciated, and supported as a teacher there and miss it immensely after moving away from the area.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were... It is so rare to find a place where all the staff is strikingly friendly, helpful, enthusiastic, dedicated to the mission of the organization, and COMPETENT!! It was a pleasure to work with the office staff at JOMP.
If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could... help more under served children and adults experience: the joy of music, the joy of learning, the feeling of being part of a community, achievement, success,and pride. Providing these experiences to people can change who they are and change the world!
In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are... continuing to educate people in the value of music and the arts and surviving financially when even the people who want to give are unable.
Ana Apostoleris, Alumna: I've been involved with JOMP since I was five or six years old -- first through music and movement, then chorus, then private piano and flute lessons and various ensembles. I can honestly say that very few things were more central to my growth than JOMP was. The chamber orchestra, especially, was a great thing for me throughout high school - it was a privilege to be able to play fantastic repertoire at Mechanics Hall twice a year. I think what sets JOMP apart from other music programs is the faculty... there's a ridiculously high concentration of teachers who are really exceptional musicians and people who care so much about imparting their love of music to their students.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were... So good. Just a really fantastic and supportive community.
In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are... similar to those of any non-profit... continuing to expand their outreach while working within financial constraints.
Former Board Member, Student and Parent, Coppi Eder: The Joy of Music Program in Worcester is a gem in the center of a state full of music opportunities. Having been a parent of a student, a board member and a student, I can say that the quality of teaching, overall mission to encourage joy while playing and listening to music, and community outreach is incomparable. The quality of the teaching staff is superlative and the caring, joyful & accepting atmosphere is like no other music school. One of many favorite memories is of being part of an impromptu audience, in the waiting room, for a child that wanted to share an exciting accomplishment.
- I've seen the results of this organization in... having been involved with them in many and varied roles
- What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is... the accepting atmosphere regardless of age, race, economic status, experience, or handicap.
- The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were... always of the highest caliber and friendly.
- If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could... have a great endowment for all it's wonderful outreach programs and put in a commercial kitchen to benefit all the wonderful community events that are enhanced by serving food.
- My experience would have been better if... I can't think of any way that my experience could have been enhanced.
- If I ran this organization, I would... ask for a larger parking lot. Just joking. I can't think of any way to improve them.
- In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are... getting large donors because of the competition from organizations that have been around longer.
- One thing I'd also say is that... After having been in the Worcester area for over 25 years, I have heard only positive comments about this school and that is pretty unique in any community.
Jon Richmond, Adult Student: This is an amazing organization. I'm an adult who studied classical music as a young person. After 30 years away from playing music, I decided to pick it up again by taking jazz lessons. The school welcomed me with open arms, and for the last three years, any evening I spend playing music there during a lesson or ensemble is truly the best night of my week. The instructors not only play at the highest professional levels, they pass on their own joy of music with expertise and patience. It's wonderful to see this kind of learning experience available to both young and old. Great facility, great staff, great community music school.
- I've seen the results of this organization in... hearing students performances and recitals. Walking down a hallway hearing a fantastic range of music come from behind closed doors. Listening to young students perform during recitals - with talent and joyous enthusiasm at all levels of ability.
- In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are... Fundraising is always important for organizations, especially in the current economy. Not only for facilities and staff compensation, but support of their very active scholarship program. That makes a 'community school' a real part of the community.
Sue O’Neil, Former Parent and Principal of Worcester Arts Magnet Elementary School: I first came to know the Joy of Music Program from its wonderful reputation in our urban community over fifteen years ago when I was seeking programs for my children. As a parent, I watched my three children explore their interests in music through string lessons, recorder and dance at JOMP. I was impressed with the teaching, the small group and individual lessons and the sense of community from the start. The annual JOMP-A-THON brings the program's uniqueness to the forefront as students of all ages and levels, on all kinds of instruments,perform throughout the designated weekend. This program offers an extraordinary spot for diverse people to come together through music. It is an important cultural component in our city.
My children are grown and I have continued to be connected to JOMP because of their outreach efforts to public schools. JOMP offers scholarships to low-income students providing welcomed access and opportunity. I have had several students continue on to college as music majors as a result of their financially supported training through JOMP - a path they would not have known to take without the opportunity JOMP provided. The Joy of Music also has ensembles travel and visit schools to play and talk about instruments, music and learning to play an instrument. Their visits are welcomed by students and teachers. Our student musicians are always inspired. The Joy of Music embodies what a nonprofit can and should be. It demonstrates what music in community has the power to do.
- I've seen the results of this organization in... my children's development in and appreciation for music as an art form.
- What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is... its impact on low-income families as evidenced by students in my school community.
- The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were... excited by their work and engaged with children.
- In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are... maintaining a strong financial base so they can continue to reach out to under-represented populations.
- One thing I'd also say is that... JOMP's development over the years speaks to the need for its services in our community. THey make a wonderful difference.
Former Parent, Sue Emerson-Hill: Without exception, the Joy of Music Program offered my son, a jazz-trumpet enthusiast and former student of Jerry Sabatini (one of many Jomp instructors whose dedication to his students' growth is unparalleled) the most enriching and progressive musical experience now available in the greater Worcester area. The scope of its' program offerings, beginning with early childhood classes and continuing through a panorama of individualized and group instruction for all levels and ages of interest and spanning a multiplicity of instrumentation and cultural influence, puts the school in a class by itself. As an appreciative parent, I have continued to financially support the program despite the fact that my son moved on to college 4 years ago. It is just that GOOD!
I've seen the results of this organization in... my son's musical growth and accomplishment while a student at JOMP.
What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is... the personal attention my son received as well as the sense of community and belonging that served to nurture his self-confidence and that of others irrespective of instrumental skill level. It was a non-judgmental, all-inclusive environment.
The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were... to put it simply, like members of one big, happy family.
If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could... expand its performance area to seat a greater audience as well as allow its orchestra more elbow-room. The acoustics of the performance area could also be improved.
One thing I'd also say is that... music enriches souls in ways too innumerable to list. We need it, our children need it, and what JOMP offers should be supported, sustained, and reinforced by whatever means possible. Its service to the greater community is invaluable.
Great Nonprofits: There are over 50 reviews of JOMP on this nationwide website. Current and former students, faculty, parents and board members participated. We choose 4 or 5 periodically to highlight on this page. To read them all, click on the link to the Great Nonprofits website: Reviews of JOMP on Great Nonprofits