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Making Music Programming Accessible For All Students

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Lauren is a 2020 Gold Award Girl Scout. She has been a Girl Scout with Arizona Cactus-Pine Council for ten years and plans to attend Northern Arizona University to study business management. 

By Lauren Hyland

One moment I will never forget is holding my very own bass guitar for the first time. This moment is important to me because music has always been a passion of mine. Thinking back to my first bass instrument, acquired at a yard sale, is how I identified an issue in my community and in the arts community. 

Understanding the cost for quality instruments made me aware that not all students who would like to pursue music can due to cost. If schools cannot provide instruments, the financial burden is often put on the student to rent or purchase an instrument. This inequity is what inspired my Gold Award. I wanted to earn my Gold Award to make a sustainable difference in my community and showcase my leadership ability. In achieving the highest honor in Girl Scouting, I would help students and families gain equal access to quality instruments and music lessons.

Through my Gold Award, I taught guitar and bass lessons, and provided students with the chance to have a quality instrument. I even brought many of my instruments for the kids to try out and learn about them.

Then I created a website with resources so students could continue to learn on their own. I also held a raffle for these students to have the opportunity to win a guitar or bass. The last part of my project, which ended up being the most fun, was hosting two community talents shows at Mesa Community College. This aspect of the project was very gratifying; the community came together through music, and everyone seemed happy. Altogether, I coordinated 25 talent acts, hosted 73 audience members, and gifted instruments to two very delighted students.

I hope that my project's impact will last a lifetime in the hearts and minds of those involved. Earning my Gold Award taught me more than I could have imagined! I learned to stay focused even if things got messy and be patient because things usually work out in the end. I also learned a lot about coordinating large groups of people, and more importantly, Girl Scouting has taught me leadership skills, developed my confidence, and has shown me how to step out of my comfort zone.

Overall, I am incredibly grateful for everything Girl Scouting has taught me, and as I prepare for the future, I do so as a proud lifetime member.