You Can Help Us Help Others
Check out our New Board Member Prospectus and contact John if you’re interested in being part of The Coffeehouse Project. Share this page with anyone you think might be a good fit. Thank you for your consideration!
What We Do
The Coffeehouse Project provides music classes, workshops, presentations and performance opportunities in central and northern New Jersey, with a focus on serving special needs and senior populations.
Why We Do It
We do it because we care. We do it because it is important work. We do it because nobody else is doing it. Our motto is “Life goes better with music.” Research shows that listening to and making music boosts brain function, and improves memory and motor skills.2 It makes us more empathetic and helps us feel better about ourselves. It inspires storytelling, encourages social interaction and connection. Group performance and recording projects reinforce goal setting, self-discipline, teamwork, and self-esteem.
Despite all of these benefits, individuals with disabilities and senior citizens do not have sustained access to quality musical experiences in New Jersey. CHP exists to provide that access. Across all of our work shines the mission of using music as a vehicle for caring. We are passionate in our mission to bring music experiences to folks who otherwise won’t have them.
How We Came to Be
The Coffeehouse Project began as an after school activity that John created when he was a middle school teacher. The idea was to provide kids the opportunity to play rock and roll music in a supportive and caring environment. The activity was especially attractive to students who had not found a way to fit into the school music curriculum of bands and choirs. John ran the program for five years and and believed in it enough to leave his teaching job to seek an MA in community music. Within that initial after school activity were all of the ingredients of CHP’s current mission: music, community, an emphasis on participation rather than ability, and strategic planning to provide access to participation.
How We Do It
The Coffeehouse Project provides unique participatory, listening, audio/video recording and performance activities. CHP typically delivers these activities on-site at day programs and senior centers.* During a typical session CHP facilitators engage participants by emphasizing active listening (as opposed to simply hearing) and tactile connections to music (with clapping and hand percussion). Dancing and singing opportunities are presented at appropriate levels for each individual. Appropriate accommodations are thoughtfully and sensitively made for participants who are non-verbal, have mobility issues, are visually or hearing impaired, or have other physical, cognitive or emotional disabilities. Every effort is made to include every individual who wishes to participate in our activities.
Performance and recording projects serve as dynamic links to participants’ larger geographic community while exposing a wider audience to what older adults and those with special needs are capable of.
Are You Able to Help Us?
A new trustee will become a very active member of the CHP board team, which will be working together to lead CHP into the future.
A candidate should:
- Be passionate about music.
- Be aware of and particularly empathetic to the special needs and senior populations of New Jersey.
- Be passionate about providing individuals with disabilities and senior citizens sustained access to quality musical experiences.
- Be able to actively advocate for CHP. This means devoting a minimum of three hours per week to CHP and promoting CHP in a public setting several times a year.
- Be able to ask strangers for money to support the mission of CHP.
- Be able to make a personal contribution of $1,000 upon joining the board and/or commit to being personally responsible to bring in $1,000 in donations per annum in addition to additional fundraising carried out by the board on behalf of CHP.