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Since 2007, the Tuned-In program at the Peabody Preparatory has provided Baltimore City Public Schools students with a complete Peabody Preparatory education for free. Its curriculum of introductory and advanced musical study and youth development opportunities opens doors for success in college and career.

The driving mission of the Tuned-In program is to enact social change through music, as students learn to express themselves through music, invest their time in expanding their talents, and use those talents to serve the greater good. Tuned-In uses music as a tool for youth empowerment by teaching skills that are necessary for music training, including collaboration, leadership, goal-setting, and creativity. To date, nearly 100% of Tuned-In graduates have completed high school and attended college. Several Tuned-In graduates have reinvested their talents in their home city by becoming mentors or teachers for younger students in the Tuned-In program and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids program.

In addition to upholding the program’s driving mission to impact social change through music, Tuned-In seeks to increase diversity in classical music, a field that has historically been overwhelmingly white and accessible to those with the financial means required for adequate training. To address this inequity, Tuned-In provides the requisite training, from an early age, to students from racially and socioeconomically diverse backgrounds to be competitive and prepared for a career in classical music.

The Tuned-In program was the single most important initiative in my college preparedness. I learned theory, rehearsal etiquette, how to interact with different people, composition and arranging, and unlike most students, Tuned-In exposed me to these key life principles at a very young age. I didn’t just learn how to read and play music, I also learned how to be more social and outgoing in society, and most of all I learned how to be a leader and to believe in myself and others. After I learned how to be a leader I began helping others become leaders, and it’s truly a life changing continuum.”

Asia Palmer

Hartt School of Music
Flute ‘23

Tuned-In’s unique program model is individualized and centered on deep engagement for all students: students have one-on-one lessons and spend a full day in programs every Saturday, including ensemble training, ear training/music theory classes, master classes, and repertoire classes which often feature guest lecturers. The combination of private instruction and ensemble work (both chamber ensembles and large groups) are teaching tools for young musicians, with a focus on strings, piano, jazz studies, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. During the summer, Tuned-In students may enroll in an ensemble program and continue with private lessons, as a means of mitigating “summer slide.”

Tuned-In students focus their studies around the constant exploration of a unique and regionally authentic “Sound of Baltimore.” Students are treated as the experts and leaders in this work, and have critical input in all aspects of the program including repertoire, concert attire, off-campus partnerships and workshops, and the creation of new ensembles. This approach empowers youth to become leaders, collaborators, and citizen artists.

Even further, through Tuned-In, the most dedicated students are connected with some of the most prestigious and competitive immersive study programs in the world. In recent years, Tuned-In students have attended Interlochen Arts Camp, the Archipelago Project Summer Camp, Peabody’s Camp Allegro, the National Take A Stand Festival in Los Angeles, Ithaca’s Summer Music Camp, Indiana University’s Summer Camp, and the Alpine Brass Band National Camp. Small groups of students have also participated in musical immersion trips to New Orleans, Detroit, Philadelphia, and New York, where they have partnered with similar programs such as Make Music NOLA, Accent Pontiac in Michigan, Harmony Program in New York, and Play on Philly.

Now Run With It

Young flutist Ebonie Pierce was one of the first students to benefit from the Tuned-In program. In this Peabody Magazine story, she and her teachers speak about the opportunities open to her thanks to the program.