Make Music NOLA’s (MMN) mission is to foster academic achievement, cultivate artistic expression, and promote the healthy growth and development of children in New Orleans through culturally relevant music instruction and performance.
Make Music NOLA is an intensive music-for-social-change program. MMN provides focused, tuition-free, in-school and after-school music training to students who are eligible for free or reduced lunch at six charter schools and three community centers in East New Orleans, Central City, the 9th Ward, Mid-City, and the Riverbend.
- Tuition – free music training for students eligible for free or reduced lunch in Orleans Parish
- Violin, viola, cello, and double bass classes
- 5 after school programs, strings only
- 4 in-school programs, strings and K-4 general music classes
- performance opportunities, workshops and master classes
- summer session
- opportunities to audition for summer camp scholarships outside of New Orleans
Make Music NOLA began in September 2011 under the name “Youth Orchestra of the Lower 9th Ward” with only five students. Since then, the program has expanded to nine locations, including four in-school programs and five after school programs.
- Winner of the Gambit’s “Arts Education Award” (February 2014)
- Winner of Tulane University’s C.A.C.T.U.S. Award for “Community Enrichment” (May 2013)
- Executive Director, Laura Patterson, was named a “Person of Character, Courage, and Commitment” by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in honor of Women’s History month (April 2014)
MMN’s curriculum focuses on New Orleans traditional jazz, while introducing students to pop, hip-hop, and classical music. Our string curriculum is coordinated by outstanding jazz violinist, Matt Rhody. During their first three years in the program, MMN violin students learn “Saints Go Marching In,” “I’ll Fly Away,” “IkoIko,” “I’m Walking,” “A Closer Walk With Thee,” among many other tunes. MMN uses the Suzuki method book for teaching the basics of string playing.