Northwest Music Mentors creates partnerships between music educators and professional musicians, providing students with focused instruction in group settings.

Current Highlights

The 2021-2022 school year has drawn to a close with many successes, highlighted by our expansion to three additional schools in the Highline School District, bringing the total number of schools we serve to seven. This year we conducted 361 mentoring sessions to over 140 students.

Man playing trombone with students on various brass instruments
Matt Grey working with low brass students at Chinook Middle School

With the addition of the new schools we increased our number of active mentors to 10, working with students on trumpet, trombone, euphonium, French horn, flute, clarinet, upright bass, piano, and percussion.

We’re working to expand further in the Highline School District in the next school year, and are excited to continue working with many of the same students as they continue their participation in music classes.

Welcome Tyee High School, Chinook and Pacific Middle Schools

Last Fall Northwest Music Mentors was awarded a grant through the Federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, allowing us to place mentors in Tyee High School and Pacific and Chinook Middle Schools. With the proceeds from this grant, we’ve added 15 weekly sessions led by seven different mentors specializing in trumpet, trombone, French horn, percussion, clarinet and flute.

Teachers and students have given us positive feedback on all of our mentors, who are conducting sessions nearly every day of the week. In the three new schools, mentors have worked with over 60 students, and are scheduled to run sessions through the end of the year.

Ongoing Challenges

Music classes were impacted when schools shifted to remote learning, and even with the return to in-person classrooms almost every school music program has seen a decrease in overall enrollment this year. Many students who would have joined at an earlier age delayed their enrollment, which resulted in an increase in beginning students at higher grade levels this year. The addition of these beginning students to those High and Middle School music programs has made the instruction provided by Northwest Music Mentors even more important to help bridge the differences in skill levels among the student musicians.

Two people playing upright bass
Emmanuel del Casal works with an upright bass student on bowing technique

Your support is even more important than ever as we work alongside music teachers to not only help current students improve, but to keep the experience of playing in an ensemble enjoyable and fulfilling, and at the same time attract new students to enroll for next year’s classes.

Our percussionists are all beginners this year – their confidence level and skills have grown immensely in the past 6 months.

Lynetta Nelthropp, Tyee High School

Your Donation Makes a Difference

$60 funds a single mentoring session.
$80 funds a master class presentation.
$500 provides a classroom with a mentor for a full quarter/semester.
$1500 places a mentor in a classroom for the entire school year.

We thank you for your past and continued support, and the difference it makes for the students participating in our programs. We believe music programs are important in the development of our young people, and during these extraordinary times your support is even more critical to ensure that students remain active and engaged in their pursuit of music, as well as in their overall participation in academic studies.

If your company offers matching funds for your charitable gifts, you can donate to us through your workplace to maximize your contribution, or submit your donation receipt to your company to qualify for a corporate match.

Donate Now

Call for Mentors

We will be expanding our programs in South King County and Tacoma in the current and following school years. Our focus has been in the Highline School District, but we will be looking to offer our programs to other schools in these regions.

If you have experience teaching music, have flexibility in your daytime schedule and would be able to work in these areas fill out our contact form and we will be in touch with you!

The Mentorship Difference

Many music students do not have access to after school programs or private lessons. In our programs, mentors work with students in break-out sectionals during classroom hours. Mentors focus on material designated by their music director, further developing students’ musicianship by helping them improve their skills, increase their level of participation and overall enjoyment of performing music.

Our programs match mentors with students on the same instrument or family of instruments. Each mentor works with students when they first begin to play or join an ensemble, and continues to work with them as they move to the next level of their education – middle school or junior high, then to high school, through the end of secondary education, providing additional instruction and guidance during each step of their journey as a musician, and helping to answer the question “What’s next?”

If you’d like to donate, just click the button above to donate through PayPal. To join in the discussion of supporting music in schools, visit and follow us on Facebook – we’d love to hear from you and find out how we can make a difference in your community!