Bridge Mentorship provides an important connection for students as they transition from elementary to middle school/junior high, or middle school/junior high to high school. In most cases the same mentor works with the students on both sides of the “bridge.”
The Bridge Mentorship program consists of three or four session, two in the spring and one or two in the fall. The first session allows students an opportunity to interact with the mentor, with the mentor returning a week or two later to address questions they weren’t able to fully answer after consulting the director at the next school, or field any new questions that may have surfaced for the students.
After the start of the following school year, the mentor works with the same students at their new school to help with the adjustment to the music program, providing a friendly face to help the students connect with their new classroom and students from other schools. One or two sessions are done in the new school to solidify the student’s involvement based on the needs of the director.
The timing of the bridge mentorship program coincides with registration schedules, when students choose which classes to enroll in at their next school. This provides the opportunity for students to ask questions they may not have had a chance to ask their current director or new director, or those questions that arise as the mentor interacts with the group. This smaller setting often allows students to raise questions and concerns they may not otherwise voice.
This program is ideal for music programs that may not have been able to offer mentorships for specific instruments or instrument families. It extends the existing cooperation between the directors and schools in the pipeline.