About Us

Who are we?

ALTO is an international, youth-led 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in California and incorporated in Delaware. We aim to work with high school musicians around the nation to start and successfully run music tutoring programs in their school or community by providing the necessary resources, network, and consulting. Our league is a collection of independent music tutoring programs with the vision of creating a world where quality music education is readily accessible to all students.

What are music mentorship communities?

ALTO network communities, also called ALTO-supported programs, are music tutoring programs run by high school musicians in local towns and cities. These programs offer free or reduced rate private lessons to elementary and middle school students. Each tutoring program is fully independent and has its own specific mission, vision, policies, and structure. ALTO’s job is to support these programs, so there is no legal affiliation between these programs and us. The tutoring program brings high school musicians and younger students together within the same local community. Students gain inspiration and a glimpse into the next stages of their musical journey through affordable, consistent private lessons. Tutors are able to sharpen their leadership skills, gain invaluable teaching experience, and give back to the community which helped them thrive as musicians. Consequently, these music-mentorship communities create reciprocal relationships, growing and strengthening the school or community’s music program as a whole.

What is the ALTO communities network?

The ALTO communities network, often referred to as the national network, refers to the web of independent ALTO network communities. Music tutoring programs can help each other promote, startup, and grow, while getting and giving assistance to and from ALTO. In addition, ALTO hosts ‘ALTO-wide’ events such as virtual concerts, workshops, etc. in which participants from all ALTO network communities are invited to create music together. This nationwide network brings together the individual communities, and most importantly allows for large scale fundraising for the low income student musicians.

What sets ALTO-supported programs apart?

What sets ALTO-supported programs apart from other forms of music education is the overarching community focus. ALTO network communities are strong local tutoring programs which band together in the national network, which means they are local communities within a large umbrella community. This creates unique communal belonging and strong relationships at both the local and national level.

How does music tutoring foster leadership?

Leadership is at the heart of all music-mentorship communities. Tutors pass on their knowledge and inspire their students to become the next generation of leaders, who will then in turn bring up the following generation. While students get a glimpse of their next step, tutors must demonstrate their leadership, working off of their musical experience to give back to the music community that fostered them. In addition, high leadership skills are demanded by the Program Coordinators, who must work to start, manage, and grow their tutoring program, a highly demanding but extremely rewarding job.

How does ALTO help start these music tutoring programs?

ALTO has the ALTO model, a set of informational documents, templates, and step by step instructions which can be used as a framework for your program. The degree of modifications required will vary case by case. ALTO will work with you directly throughout the process, helping you both start and maintain your program.

How does ALTO serve students regardless of their socioeconomic background?

ALTO strives to offer equity in music education to all students, regardless of financial, social or economic situations. Volunteer programs offer 100% free lessons, providing a great opportunity for students to gain musical proficiency and have fun. Many of the paid programs also offer free lessons exclusively to low income students, accomplishing the same goal. ALTO works closely with these programs to obtain donations and instruments (with accessories).

I already run a tutoring program myself. Can my program join the ALTO network?

Yes! While most ALTO-supported programs were started with the assistance of ALTO, some were standalone programs which later joined the network. When your program joins the network it will still remain fully independent and under your control, but will also be eligible to receive all of the benefits from ALTO including consulting (for growing your program and dealing with conflicts), marketing and PR on our website and social media platforms, eligibility to participate in virtual events and performances, and eligibility to request funding (if applicable). If you run an existing tutoring program and would like to join the league, please contact us directly (do not submit the Form of Interest).

Do you work with schools abroad?

Yes! Although our main focus is to help build music tutoring programs across the United States, we do work with communities abroad.

Do you work with non-school music programs?

Yes! Although our models are built around school music programs, we are willing and able to work with you and whatever organization you are affiliated with (youth music group, community organization, your own music ensemble, etc).

Our History

ALTO’s model is based on the Davis High School Strings Tutoring Program, founded in fall of 2019 and based in Davis, CA. The program was developed by violist Kai Keltner and his award-winning orchestra director, Angelo Moreno, with the mission of motivating Elementary and Junior High School students to enjoy playing and practicing their instrument. High school tutors from the Davis High School Orchestras run lessons in the same fashion as private music teachers, charging $15 per hour. Even with the sudden shift to online Zoom lessons due to the pandemic, the program enjoyed great success, with over 100 participants during the 2019-20 school year. The versatility of our model inspired the creation of ALTO with a goal of building and connecting music tutoring programs nationwide.

 

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