When I moved to Worcester in 1983, I served on the Worcester Cultural Commission. I was impressed when I read about JOMP then. I remain impressed today. My daughter has been a student at JOMP for the past four years. The cello training she receives is extraordinary, the environment is warm and welcoming, the opportunities to perform in the JOMP-a-thon are great. The encouragement JOMP gives students to perform outside of the school under the vigilance of their mentors is an addition strength. I think the founders, Wendy and Rich, are gifts to our community. This organization, with its lengthy track record, is a wonderful nonprofit organization, totally deserving of this award.
JOMP is where I credit the vast majority of my high school musical training that prepared me for college, graduate school, and a career as a professional saxophonist. If it were not for this amazing program, the arts community of central Massachusetts would be at a serious loss.
As far as the comment about this place being a "rip-off", I couldn't disagree more. Tuition at JOMP serves to pay the outstanding teachers who are at the top of the field, the staff (who, after ten years, still recognize and hug me and my family), and to give scholarships to hard-working students who are eager to learn. I happily drove 20-30 minutes each way, paid the tuition, and still donate to their scholarship fund because, if it were not for this organization, there would be far less artists and music lovers in the world.
The Joy of Music Program is truly a remarkable organization. Rich, Wendy, and their staff are incredibly kind, dedicated, and are genuinely invested in their students and teachers. For two years I took lessons and was involved in chamber ensembles, even though the drive is 30 minutes each way. If it were not for JOMP, I would not be the musician I am today, and I'm so grateful that I was able to work with such wonderful, inspiring people.
Joy of Music is an accurate name for this program. As a music teacher myself, I wanted the best for my sons' music lessons! When my oldest started at JOMP, he was an anxious adolescent. After a few lessons, his observation was "Mom, there's something wrong with this place. Everyone is always smiling!" I told him that it was because the program was all about the "JOY of music"! Rich and Wendy Ardizzone's commitment to the program and their tireless hours and enthusiasm for what they do does trickle down to the staff and teachers. I taught at another community music school from the day it opened until it closed only a few years later. The school I taught at was less successful because it lacked the dedication and vision that is so obvious from the directors and board members at JOMP. Every teacher I have encountered at JOMP loves what they do and it shows - the students feel it, and know success because of it.
I have been teaching guitar at JOMP for the past few years and I appreciate more and more the fine work that Wendy and Rich do in running the school, and in their personal relations with the faculty and the community. As a teacher I feel I am respected, and carefully considered by the directors, staff, and other teachers, and have made some of the most satisfying connections with students in my 30 odd years of teaching.
This is my first year teaching piano at JOMP, and I have been very impressed with the overall professionalism of all the staff, and faculty. JOMP has a very friendly, and welcoming environment to everyone. It's great that students have a place to go in the community to learn, grow, and develop their musical talents.
JOMP has provided Central Massachusetts with an innovative series of programs for young students of all ages. They have skillfully and musically combined an array of teaching techniques for a broad range of genres from Classical to Jazz to spread the "good word" of music to an area where music has been lacking in the school systems. They are dedicated and expert in their knowledge and pedagogical techniques, and offer back wonderful gifts to the community in the form of concerts and "ministering" to local nursing homes and underprivileged to allow everyone to fully appreciate the "joy of music"! - Will Sherwood Director of Music First Unitarian, Worcester
I am currently on the JOMP faculty so I'll let others speak to the quality of the education. JOMP provides a clean, hospitable, safe and secure environment for it's clientel. The administration and staff are friendly and efficient and the welfare of their clients is top priority. JOMP engages the community with outreach programs, performing ensembles and scholarships for those in need. I hold my colleagues on falculty in the highest regard. JOMP is a real tight ship and I'm proud to be aboard. Thanks Joe D'Angelo
The faculty and staff at JOMP is extremely dedicated and professional. If you want a quality music education for yourself, a student, or your child, you should start with the Joy of Music Program!
Precious care and consideration for each individual person permeates the Joy of Music Program in Worcester, MA. Empathy and attention to detail work a special magic at this school, starting at the top. I sensed this the first day I came to the school. The directors are first rate people. They enact a positive example and I, in turn, spur myself to raise my own bar-- how can I more positively impact my students-- how can I improve? In this regard, it is a joy to work with such a clear sense of shared purpose.
I served on the faculty at JOMP for 5 years. I have not worked with any organization before or after that can compare to my experience there. I am most struck by Wendy and Rich Ardizzone's purity of intention to bring joyful music experiences to the Worcester community, commitment and tireless work, and total success in achieving their mission. Because of this, they attract staff and faculty with similar commitment and enthusiasm and have created an amazing sense of community. I felt valued, appreciated, and supported as a teacher there and miss it immensely after moving away from the area.