Blue Ridge Juvenile Detention Center

Since the fall of 2018, The Front Porch staff has visited Blue Ridge Juvenile Detention twice each week to meet with high school residents interested in playing music. At the program’s inception, we curated a modest supply of music equipment and donated instruments. Since then, the program has morphed a number of times based on student interest, sometimes taking the form of a garage band rehearsal, a karaoke bar, and most recently a hip hop studio. Students are required to maintain good behavioral standing in order to participate in the class. Staff members often stop into the music club to listen to resident recordings, hear the kids’ latest project, show off some of their own skills, and even learn something new.

Roots and Wings has been an incredible opportunity for our student population. I strongly believe in the power of music, not only on the mind, but as an outlet for expression, which many of our students have not been exposed to. Students have worked to learn multiple different instruments and have been guided to create their own collaborative jam sessions/projects. The students look forward to not only working to learn different instruments but working with Matt to understand dynamics and time signatures within music composition. This has been a vital addition to our program and I hope it continues to grow as a way for our students to have different outlets of expression and working with others to build positive friendships through music.

– Tanner Boyle, BRJD Principal

A few of the boys come to music class bubbling over with musical experience and drive, so excited to release their creativity and knowledge and make some truly excellent noise.  One student played drums with his church, another grew up singing at his uncle’s recording studio.  We write chord progressions and the boys with musical experience help the newer musicians learn the basics to play along. 

-Matt Curreri, Roots and Wings Teaching Artist