In 2017, an eighth grade teacher challenged Nicholas Boettcher's class to make a difference in their community. Nicholas, the principal bassist with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO), envisioned a music mentor program that uses advanced teenage musicians to bring musical experiences to local juvenile detention centers.
That is how The No Repeats Project was created!
Early on the program faced many obstacles— instrument access/inconsistent attendance/low self-confidence/variable education levels/etc, not to mention being taken seriously because of his age. In order to tackle these problems, he had to collaborate with many different people. First, he convinced the facility he was committed and mature enough to work with the teens. After all, he was just an eighth grader and asking to set up a volunteer program at a Illinois Department of Corrections facility. Next, he needed instruments and a lot of them. So he contacted Austin's Violin Shop, a local luthier, who generously donated the regular use of instruments and bows. Another challenge for The No Repeats is also its biggest reward, teaching kids how to play an instrument (violin, viola, cello, bass) that is foreign to them. Next he needed other mentors to help him teach the kids. He first recruited his brother and reached out to area music programs. Soon he had a team of mentors to work at the facility. He and the other mentors have developed various methods to maintain focus, improve their confidence, and keep them coming to our sessions.
The No Repeats Project's mentors also love to perform for the center and arrange for the teens to attend musical events inside and outside the facility.
OUR VISION AND MISSION
The No Repeats Project is a 501(c) (3) organization. No Repeats is a music mentor program for teens who are incarcerated. We recruit advanced high school musicians with a desire to share their love of music with teens at the Illinois Detention Center in Warrenville. We envision that the musical exposure and experience will have positive effects on the teens and will help increase their self-esteem and self-confidence. We believe The No Repeats Project will help them educationally, socially, and psychologically. By giving them the opportunity to experience the transformative power of music, we hope to minimize their chances of returning to the criminal justice system. Simultaneously, our musicians develop communication and leadership skills and gain an understanding of the lives of teens in the criminal justice system. Our music mentor program benefits all involved.