To promote the social and personal growth of our students through intensive music training. That growth is reflected in improved academics, increased self-confidence and self-respect, an improved ability to cooperate with others, and a better understanding of what they are capable of achieving.


Our desired program impact is to create a safer and more unified community of Englewood, where the rich cultural resources of the community combine to create a positive living and learning environment for young people and their families. Shift Englewood will be an example for other organizations seeking to make positive community impacts through its youth orchestra, community partnerships and teacher training.

Core Values

  • Dedication to musical excellence
  • Development of discipline, applied holistically to all facets of life
  • Citizenship representing the positive resources of the community
  • Activism to create positive changes to academic, personal and community life

“Our students really need this program. We are so lucky to have a program like this in our school.”

— Krystal Webb, Arts Liaison at Wentworth Elementary School

The Program

Who is in the Orchestra?

Students between grades 4-7 who are attending public school in the Englewood community can be a part of Shift: Englewood Youth Orchestra. Younger or older students are admitted on a case-by-case basis.

What do the children do in orchestra?

Students in Shift: Englewood Youth Orchestra engage in intensive music training for 10 hours per week, and academic tutoring on an as-needed basis. Shift: Englewood has partnered with the Chicago Children’s Choir to provide one hour of choral instruction per week. The students also have one hour of bucket band per week, one hour of creative composition per week, and seven hours of group orchestral rehearsals. Each student is expected to practice at least 20 minutes per day outside of program time. Individual lessons are also provided upon request.

What are the children expected to do to get into the orchestra?

There are no auditions or previous musical experience required to gain entrance into the orchestra. However, the program requires a rigorous commitment to attendance and practicing, as well as academic performance in school. Students and families must be prepared to come to rehearsal consistently and attend all performances.