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MAT student Jennifer Johnson has been working with YOLA at HOLA music students for the past few months, providing guidance and musical training. Jennifer joins HOLA through the Longy School of Music of Bard College Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) Program. Through the program, MAT students observe teaching practices and work hands-on with YOLA at HOLA music students.

Jennifer loves working with the kids, saying “they are so bright and pure.” She feels like she is able to learn more from them every day. Her specialty is the violin, although she also has some experience with the viola and cello. She is currently working with the trumpet class, an instrument she is just learning to play.

Before entering the MAT program, Jennifer was living in New York, working for the Corona Youth Music Project, the only El Sistema inspired program in Queens. While there, she focused on teaching students violin, but was also involved with fundraising and administration. After graduating from the MAT program, Jennifer definitely wants to continue working with El Sistema inspired programs and she hopes to one day start her own El Sistema program that works with foster youth.

Outside of studying and teaching, Jennifer enjoys being active outdoors biking and hiking. She loves the sense of nature she can experience in Los Angeles compared to the manmade feel of New York City.


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