What does SLAM stand for?

Maybe you know the answer! But what exactly does Service, Leadership, Artistry, and Mentorship mean to students at The People’s Music School? Hear from our honors students, all members of the SLAM program at TPMS, about what SLAM means to them. 

S is for Service

“My friend Marlen and I are usually early to SLAM on Saturdays. We use this time to help our teacher Mr. Felix set up chairs and music stands for our Jazz Ensemble so we can start rehearsing as soon as possible!” 

Youssef, SLAM bass 


“My participation at TPMS began as an act of service this year when the Jazz Ensemble recruited me to fill in for the trombone section. I was thrilled to receive an invitation to officially join the SLAM program this spring and is one of the best things to ever happen in my life!” 

Ezequiel, SLAM trombone 


“This semester my orchestra led multiple bake sales to raise money for a local charity called RefugeeOne. This is one of the many ways we are learning to be instruments of peace in our community.” 

Omar, SLAM violin

L is for Leadership

“Participation in the SLAM program has provided me with many opportunities to develop my leadership and communication skills. These skills are important as I prepare for college and my life as an adult. Plus, SLAM led me to perform for President Obama – I am so grateful for this program!” 

Morgan, SLAM clarinet


“At SLAM, leadership means stepping up to challenges, setting a positive example, and creating a lasting impact on your community. Student leaders demonstrate bright thinking through creative problem-solving or collaborating with others to make a song even more compelling. They put in the extra effort to make SLAM a place that nurtures excellence.” 

Avril, SLAM voice student


“The beauty of The People’s Music School lies in its diversity; we are pieces of a mosaic brought together from all walks of life to create something magical, something bigger than ourselves. Just as each piece of a mosaic is unique, leadership looks different for each student. SLAM instills a sense of service-oriented leadership in all of us. In whatever form it takes shape, the virtues of leading with love, of giving unto others as they have to you, are something that will never leave me.” 

Briannah, SLAM Alum 

Brown University ’24

A is for Artistry

“After only one year in the SLAM program, my skills have grown as an artist. I am excited to attend Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp on a full summer ambassador scholarship!” 

Kevin, SLAM Flute

“Earlier this year, I received the opportunity to participate in a drum circle with Third Coast Percussion. It was a fun experience getting to play and improvise with them. I got to demonstrate my artistry and also see others express theirs.” 

Gabriel, SLAM tuba


“From performing for The Obama Foundation to learning from internationally acclaimed violinist Hilary Hahn, our quartet has had an amazing year, and we can’t wait for our end-of-the-year performances!” 

Julia, SLAM cello

M is for Mentorship

“Throughout the 2022/23 school year, I have been mentoring one of the younger trumpet students in the SLAM Wind Ensemble. I have learned a lot from my mentee, such as patience, becoming a better sight-reader, and more!” 

Nallely, SLAM trumpet


“I mentor at our Albany Park Program, where I started my music lessons. Recently I helped a student improve the high notes on her scales. I think I succeeded because I was able to put myself in her shoes :)” 

Vanessa, SLAM clarinet


“Bonding with younger students has helped me make new friends and inspire others. Recently my mentee came to me and said something I’ll never forget. ‘You are so cool, and I like your hair. When I grow up, I want to be like you – smart, fun, kind, and talented.’ It made my day!” 

Fernando, SLAM oboe

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