YOUNG MUSICIANS FOUNDATION

aka YMF   |   Los Angeles, CA   |  www.ymf.org

Mission

YMF is fundamentally dedicated to social and restorative justice. We believe that every student – every person – should have access to the numerous, profound, and well-documented lifelong benefits that music and media arts education provides.

Ruling year info

1960

Executive Director

Mr. Walter Zooi

Main address

1044 East Jefferson Blvd., Suite A

Los Angeles, CA 90011 USA

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EIN

95-2250007

NTEE code info

Music (A68)

Symphony Orchestras (A69)

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Despite the profound benefits of music education, its particular importance to underserved students, and Los Angeles’s distinction as the "epicenter of the entertainment industry," within Los Angeles County there is a devastating deficit of music education, especially in lowest-income communities. In 2015, a front-page Los Angeles Time article called attention to the negative impact of cuts to music education programs in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) over the past decade. "Budget cuts and a narrow focus on subjects that are measured on standardized tests have contributed to a vast reduction of public schools’ arts programs across the country, and in LAUSD, only 35 out of 700 schools were found to offer high-quality arts education. Schools with larger populations of low-income students had substantially fewer opportunities for arts education than schools in higher-income areas, exacerbating inequality and the opportunity gap for low income and minority students."

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

General Programming

The Young Musicians Foundation’s Teaching Artist Program currently brings tuition-free music education on a weekly basis to over 3,400 students at 25 schools and sites in underserved communities throughout Los Angeles. In addition to YMF’s instrumental and vocal group instruction during the school day, YMF also offers the Neighborhood Orchestra Program, the Debut Orchestras Community Engagement Program, and the Music Heals Program partnered with Homeboy Industries.

YMF offers an inclusive approach to vocal, instrumental, and general music training for preK-12th-grade Los Angeles students. Delivering high quality, engaging instruction in the classroom during the school day ensures each young person, even those who may be unable or unwilling to commit to an after-school or weekend activity, can access the profound and lifelong benefits of music education. As students gain musical knowledge and experience the joy of making music with their peers, they build confidence and discover a new source of pleasure, pride, and, perhaps, passion that they can carry with them throughout their lives.

Founded in the fall of 2014, Neighborhood Orchestra is a free after-school program open to any student grades 1 through 12. Neighborhood Orchestra uses a mix of traditional orchestral instruments (strings, woodwind, brass, percussion) and modern instruments such as drum kit, saxophone and guitar. Students perform in a variety of events and venues throughout the year including the YMF Community Arts Festival and YMF Family Arts Festival and other special events within the community.

With the guidance of Senior Program and Artistic Advisor Vijay Gupta, our Debut Orchestra program has been re-conceived as a training program that provides exceptional young orchestral musicians with instruction and first-hand experience in outreach, mentorship, organization building and community integration, performing in public festivals, youth detention facilities, homeless communities, social service agencies and other audiences who may otherwise not have access to these experiences.

In the fall of 2017, YMF created the Music Heals Program in partnership with Homeboy Industries. Up to 250 formerly gang-involved, recently incarcerated participants at various stages of recovery receive instruction in guitar, voice, keyboard, drums and music production. This therapeutic, trauma-informed program is a holistic integration of instrumental and ensemble experience that allows each student to deepen the connection to their innate creativity and inner voice. In March of 2018 the program was expanded to serve students in Homeboy’s LearningWorks continuation high school.

By eliminating common barriers to arts participation - lack of funds or parent facilitation, transportation issues, family commitments or after-school jobs - YMF reaches burgeoning musicians who would otherwise have little or no exposure to music education or live music concerts. Likewise, it offers a safe and pleasurable activity that is proven to relieve stress and promote health and wellbeing.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Young Musicians Foundation’s (YMF) mission is to empower under-served, often marginalized students to find creativity, connection and joy through music, which we've been doing since 1955. YMF’s teaching artists bring tuition-free weekly music instruction to over 3,400 students at 25 partner schools and sites throughout Los Angeles. Our uniquely accessible and innovative approach to vocal, instrumental and general music training reaches students ages 4 to adult across Los Angeles through partnerships with under-resourced schools and community programs covering a 195-square-mile area in greater Los Angeles. We also work with formerly gang-involved, recently incarcerated men and women in partnership with Homeboy Industries’ Workforce Development Program, and provide internships for formerly incarcerated youth.

Currently, TAP's 29 Teaching Artists bring tuition-free general music, instrumental and vocal instruction, music technology and production classes to over 3,400 students at 25 under-resourced schools and sites on a weekly basis. Students in our programs perform twice yearly for family friends in their communities, and in YMF-organized festivals and concerts at venues such as the Levitt Pavilion, Aratani Theatre and the Ace Hotel.

Last year the YMF created the "Music Heals," a trauma-informed, therapeutically-based program for Homeboy Industries, working with previously incarcerated, recently gang-involved adults.

YMF’s newest initiative is the Debut Orchestra Outreach and Community Engagement program, a significant restructuring of the Debut Orchestra and its mission. Guided and advised by Vijay Gupta the Debut program will train accomplished young pre-professional musicians in Trauma-informed Education, Community Engagement, Mentorship and other skills crucial for a 21st century career as a musician, educator and advocate. Participants will work with our TAP students, receiving experience in working with the many communities we serve. As they follow their various career paths, graduates will bring these skills and experiences with them, expanding the reach and scope of our service nationally and beyond.

YMF offers an innovative and inclusive approach to vocal, instrumental, and general music training for preK-12th-grade Los Angeles students. YMF delivers high quality, engaging instruction in the classroom, during the school day, to ensure each young person, even those who may be unable or unwilling to commit to an after-school or weekend activity, can access the profound and lifelong benefits of music education. As students gain musical knowledge and experience the joy of making music with their peers, they build confidence and discover a new source of pleasure, pride, and, perhaps, passion that they can carry with them throughout their lives.

At each of our 24 partner sites, every student in preK-12th grade receives one to two hours of tuition-free music instruction once a week for the entire 31-week school year. Led by professional teaching artists trained in chamber music performance and pedagogy, YMF’s curriculum moves sequentially and addresses the California State Music Content and Common Core State Standards, while focusing on music literacy and fundamentals, multicultural appreciation of music, and social-emotional life skills such as collaboration, perseverance, and critical thinking. Teaching artists work collaboratively with classroom teachers throughout the year to directly align their instruction with classroom curriculum via shared themes, learning objectives, vocabulary, and content focus.

In 1952 renowned pianist and educator Sylvia Kunin created and produced a series called Young Musical America for the struggling new medium of broadcast television. Shown on KLAC-TV (now KCOP) the program was a talent contest conceived to introduce classical music making to young television audiences. The show was a sensation and she went on to create a second series entitled Debut, which featured a very young André Previn as music director and conductor. This, too, was a success and Kunin realized that she was on to something.

Inspired by the success of her televised endeavors, Sylvia Kunin sought to create an organization that embodied her passion for mentoring young musicians and promoting classical music to the culture at large. With the help of legendary cellist Gregor Piatagorsky and composer Elmer Bernstein, Kunin founded the Young Musicians Foundation in 1955. Named after her successful television program, the Debut Orchestra (now Debut Chamber Orchestra) formed soon thereafter.

YMF and the Debut Chamber Orchestra have presented more than 43 world premieres, including works by such renowned composers as Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Ingolf Dahl, Michael Torke and Paul Chihara. Notable alumni include conductors Michael Tilson Thomas and Andre Previn, in addition to Christopher Parkening, guitar virtuoso; Glenn Dicterow, former concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic; David Weiss, former principal oboe of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Robert Chen, concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony.

YMF has always striven to be at the forefront of providing educational opportunities to youth, regardless of economic or geographical circumstances. In 1975 Kunin instituted the Musical Encounters outreach program which brought high caliber classical music performances by members of the Debut Orchestra to elementary schools throughout the Los Angeles area. Over the years, this program expanded to include instrumental, vocal and general music instruction for middle and high school students, becoming the basis of what is now our In-School and On-Site teaching programs.

Now in our 65th year, YMF continues to explore and identify opportunities to impact the future. We now serve over 3,400 students each week at over 25 partner schools and sites. Through these programs, YMF carries Sylvia's legacy by providing musical instruction to those who may not have had the opportunity otherwise. With our programming, we aim for every student to find joy, creativity, and connection through music.

Financials

YOUNG MUSICIANS FOUNDATION
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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YOUNG MUSICIANS FOUNDATION

Board of directors
as of 02/08/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Margot Smith Thomas

Margot Smith Thomas

Philanthropist

Fred Scholder

Aries Prepared Beef

Wallis Annenberg

The Annenberg Foundation

Beverly Bergmann

Philanthropist

Arnold Seidel

Morton Seidel and Company

Stella Jeong

Riko Weimer

Riko Method School of Music

Alexander Gershman

Harbor-UCLA Medical Center

Lori Hyland

Philanthropist

Trudy Kallis

Philanthropist

Daniel Rothmuller

Los Angeles Philharmonic (retired)

Yolla Kairouz

VP Wells Fargo the Private Bank

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 12/6/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

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