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The Union City Music Project is an afterschool prgram that uses music as a vehicle for social change for at-risk children and youth by providing intensive orchestral and vocal instruction and performance in Union City, NJ. Through a disciplined, cooperative, and fun learning environment that integrates parental involvement, our structured grassroots program inspires academic excellence, enhances life skills, and builds community.
With 66,455 residents (18,315 under 18 years old) living within 1.3 square miles, Union City, NJ is the most densely populated city in the United States. Compared to the $52,029 national median for household income, Union City households earn a median $30,642, and 21% live below the poverty line. The city also has the highest percentage Hispanic population (84.7%) of any municipality in New Jersey. These factors work against Union City’s children succeeding in school and life. While instrumental music education has been shown to improve children’s math skills, self-esteem, and behavior, such programs in Union City’s Abbott-designated school district have been cut or drastically reduced. As an alternative, private music lessons - costing up to $50/half hour - are generally unaffordable to Union City parents.
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