Who We Are at DCYC
Our Mission and Values
The mission of the Denton Community Youth Choirs is to empower children's artistic growth through community-based musical experiences.
At DCYC, we believe that connected communities foster meaningful music and meaningful music connects communities. Our goal is for DCYC to reflect and be a part of the vibrant musical community here in the Denton area. We are building a musical community where every child belongs, has a voice, grows as an individual, and gets to be creative. We believe that children should be valued for who they are, not just for their musical abilities.
DCYC's community is one that brings people in, rather than excluding people. We realize that everyone doesn't have the same access to organizations like this, so bringing accessibility to underserved communities is a top priority of ours. In our choir, we honor and accept students of all races, genders, family structures, socio-economic statuses, abilities and disabilities, linguistic backgrounds, and school structures. Communities are not strong or inclusive unless we are intentional about it being an inviting place for all children who want to learn about music.
Who Are Our Students?
There IS a place for you!
From our founding, we have maintained a commitment to our goal that each student knows they are valued for much more than their musicianship. Yes, we have high expectations for the students to do their best musically. But we are all more than who we are as musicians. Our goal is to build community through music! That means that everyone is welcome. We hope that our choirs reflect the community of Denton. That means people who look, communicate, act, think, and believe differently all have a place in our choirs.
Our only requirements are that you are within the 3rd through 8th grade and that you love music! If you love music and you are in 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, or 8th grade, we have a place for you! Come join us!
What Makes a Connected Community?
This framework is based on research Dillon Downey did around the connection between strong communities and strong music education.
Every person has a place where they are safe and supported.
We work to consistently value everyone in the organization and provide a place for them to be themself. We celebrate students for who they are, their dreams, and their identities!
Students can meaningfully connect with others.
We provide opportunities through pre-rehearsal gatherings, fall dance night, retreats, Spring Sing, and other events for students to connect and build relationships with each other. Of course, we encourage collaboration and connection throughout our rehearsals.
What students think and do matters!
Our kids have dreams, goals, and passions! Our job is to help them accomplish what they set out to do. Students are experts in their own learning. Music can make a difference in the world and we encourage students to make a difference through music within DCYC and in the broader community!
Students in DCYC are encouraged to make connections between "at home living and in school learning." We don't believe that any type of music is better or worse than another; it is about what people connect with. That means that we empower students to learn about the music they love and to bring their lived experiences into the choir. We work to empower students with musical understandings and skills to use however they are drawn to in their lives.
Everyone is encouraged to be who they are and to grow as individuals. Every person must know they are valued.
We honor and celebrate that everyone is different at DCYC. We believe that every child has musical potential and it is our job to empower kids to accomplish their musical dreams! It is important to us that every child is known, seen, and celebrated! Student should have the opportunities to make connections between what we're learning in choir, how they are developing in the DCYC community, and their lives outside of DCYC.
Each person can trust their leaders, whoever they are leading, and everyone they're working with.
Trust is earned through meaningful experiences, where kids know they are respected. We prioritize creating relationships with students so they can trust us and we can trust them. It is just as important that they can know, respect, and trust the other students.
The ability to be part of a community over a period of time to build ownership.
Part of building trust is that it takes time. We know that we don't get to see our students every day, but our goal is that they know they can rely on us and that they can develop into leaders of the organization over multiple years. Continuity means showing students the other five values every time they come to us.
Meaningfully connect and integrate within our community.
Communities are not isolated from the rest of the world. When we contextualize ourselves and make connections with our broader community by reaching out, bringing them in, and collaborating with them, we can more fully live into our focus on communities.