LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — Music for Everyone, a Lancaster-based organization that works to support music education, recently launched a new program that will pair students with music teachers for free private lessons in a variety of instruments, aiming to expand access to one-on-one music instruction.

“It’s an opportunity for kids who could not otherwise afford music lessons to have access to music lessons and get private instruction,” says Kelly Buchanan, volunteer coordinator for MFE’s new MusiCorps program.

Buchanan first approached MFE about starting the MusiCorps program over the summer as protests for social justice swept the nation and highlighted inequities present around the country. Searching for a way to help her community, Buchanan decided that “as a music teacher, the best thing I could do was to try to expand my reach.”

Buchanan is one of 20 local music teachers volunteering their time and skills for MusiCorps. The instructors teach a variety of instruments including voice, guitar and even oboe, explains Brendan Stengle, MFE director of operations.

“Music matters,” says Stengle, and it’s about more than making beautiful sounds. The NAMM Foundation notes that music has a positive impact on students’ vocabularies, reading and math skills, memories, interpersonal skills, and more.

“I think my job really matters,” says Buchanan, who offers private music lessons through her Buchanan Studio of Music in addition to teaching at Lancaster Country Day School and New School Montessori in Lancaster. “I see kids flourish. I see that not all kids can afford the private music aspect, the one-on-one instruction which I think is so valuable.”

MusiCorps aims to make that individual instruction more accessible for students in Lancaster County. The pilot round of the program will pair 20 teachers with 20 School District of Lancaster and Columbia Borough School District students ages 8-18 for 12 private lessons. Stengle says they hope to continue and expand the program in the future.

Program registration is currently working on a rolling basis. Once the 20 spots for the first round of lessons are filled, other applicants will be put on a waitlist. The form to register for MusiCorps can be found on MFE’s website here.

Students who do not have their own instruments can participate in MusiCorps; MFE will work with students and their schools to help them access instruments.

Stengle says that MFE is also looking for music teachers willing to donate their time to teach lessons for MusiCorps. Interested teachers can fill out this form to sign up.