CLEVELAND — Kimberly Shemo is preparing for one of her favorite parts of the day.
Shemo is the music program manager for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio. The position allows her to merge her love for children and her passion for music and performing.
She’s been with the Boys & Girls Clubs for nine years and has been music manager for three months.
The position was created to help lead a new initiative called the Opening Track Project. It's a program designed to incorporate music into virtually every type of activity here at the Boys & Girls Clubs.
“What we want to do with Opening Track is we want to teach you how to respond holistically and when I say holistically, I mean mentally, right? I mean socio and emotionally,” Shemo said.
With Shemo’s help, children are learning how to play and perform music and understand its benefits.
The music and Opening Track programming isn’t confined to the walls of the Boys and Girls Club. Opening Track is made possible through partnership.
Some of Northeast Ohio’s most prominent musical institutions like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Orchestra are providing curriculums for the program, giving children access to vocal and instrument training and will be field trip destinations for on-site activities.
“It’s always good to give back, but it also shows our young youth in these underserved communities, that there are people and organizations that care about them,” Shemo said.
Shemo, who has a degree in music, said music education can unlock potential and purpose for these kids, just like it did for her.
“I was one of these kids at one point in my life and I was lucky and fortunate enough to have adults that came and believed in me,” she said.