Base Academy of Music began as a simple dream. Clint Velazquez, a private music instructor for over 10 years, began to imagine what it could look like to teach music closer to home in Kansas City, MO and impact the lives of youth living in the urban core. Availability and accessibly to music programs and affordable private lessons in the area were limited. For many wanting to learn, getting started was the hardest part.
In 2011 Velazquez began volunteering at Gordon Parks Elementary, teaching an after school music program and getting to know local students and their parents. Through teaching he learned about their interest in music and the parents’ expressed desire to see a venue for their children to develop with skilled music teachers and use their talents in positive and creative ways.
One mother said it this way. "I want to give my kids music lessons, I just don't want to have to drive past I-435 to do it."
BAM was officially formed in 2012 as a nonprofit organization in the state of Missouri. We believe music education is a vital part of a complete education and students who want to study music should be able to, regardless of the community they live in or their economic status. We know the lessons learned in music help to develop us into competent, contributing members of our communities.
BAM works to lower the barriers urban youth face when wanting to begin to study music or take their study further. We desire to see our schools, our communities, and our city transformed by a generation who knows and creates beauty through music.
In August of 2016, BAM began to focus almost exclusively on the private lesson program after witnessing great student outcomes there and sensing further potential. That program demonstrated success, demand and relevance to families as it grew from 25 to 75 students over the coarse of the 2016-'17 school year. This confirmed our strong belief that individual music instruction is important to development in children and the private lesson program is relevant to the community.