More than music, teen charts new path with Family Resources’ Music Mentoring Program

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Music has the power to evoke emotions, build companionship and affect change.

It’s on full display at Family Resources in Davenport with their Music Mentoring Program.

Local 4 News first explored the effort in February when it was getting ready to launch.

It’s an extension of their Engaging Males Program that joins at-risk youths with a positive adult role model. 

Program organizers said it’s something many of these kids and teens have lacked growing up.

When it comes to the Music Mentoring Program, it’s not just about providing a new talent but use instruments and talented adults to help inspire the kids to transform themselves.

Steve Baumann used his connections with River Music Experience and Family Resources as one of the people to develop the new opportunity.

RME helped to collect the instruments and find musicians to off their talents and services.

Baumann remains an active part of it by helping a young mentee find a way to change.

Local 4 News is not naming the mentee per Family Resources request.

One cord, one melody at a time.

The mentee said, “It makes me feel happy like I can achieve something.”

It’s not just music mentor Steve Baumann looks to teach his mentee. 

Baumann said, “Involved with something that would change lives.”

So he’s pouring his heart and soul into an effort he helped to inspire. 

Baumann said, “The reason that I got involved with the Engaging Males Program is because of my own experiences when I was a kid. I went through some stuff.”

Like any good duo, shared experience is playing into strong chemistry.

Baumann said, “You were doing good there dude, you had a solid beat there, going for a while.”

And to hear it from his mentee musician is one powerful ensemble. 

The mentee said, “We have a family bond, like a son and dad bond.”

This young guitarist’s early life hasn’t always been harmonious.

“My dad’s in prison, he’s been there it’s about five years now,” said the mentee.
He went on to say, “At the age of 14, I ran and split away from the family. I was doing bad stuff. Stealing cars.”

That’s what’s placed the teen in a Family Resources program almost a year ago, but in just two months into the Music Mentoring Program, he said his friendship with Steve and music is providing a new key for change. 

The mentee said, “I started building confidence about myself. I was on the downfall until you stepped in. I didn’t have confidence in myself to make it through. That’s why I’ve been here for a year.”

“It fills my heart because working with the mentee and he’s just been growing and building that trust together and knowing that I’ll be here no matter what,” said Baumann.

It’s because this musical bond is the mentee’s instrument to put his past behind him and find a way to channel his emotions.

The mentee said, “When I play something like that. It’s like a sad note, and it just filters me. It’s like a calming one.”

The mentor and mentee said they’ll continue collaborating after the teen’s time in Family Resources.

“He has my number in his back pocket. We’re definitely going to be able to grow this. I’m excited about the future and what that brings. My dream, my goal is to have him play with my band sometime and maybe even write songs together,” said Baumann. 

The teen will also get a guitar when he leaves the program. 

Family Resources also told Local 4 News they are looking at opportunities to expand the Music Mentoring Program outside their Davenport campus with people in Muscatine and Waterloo contacting them with outreach options.

To volunteer or learn about donating to Family Resources or Music Mentoring Program, call (563) 326.6431. 

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