Student Mentor Program

The Student Mentor Program offers ISO Symphony and Concert Orchestra members the opportunity to experience music education from the viewpoint of a mentor and learn to provide guidance to younger students.  Student mentors will work with younger members and the ISO conductors and coaches during rehearsals andevents. This program will benefit younger ISO students, who will learn how much they can accomplish in the long term if they continue to practice their instrument and participate in ISO ensembles.

Student Mentors will work with Barry Stern ( Any changes in schedule or absences should be communicated to Mr. Stern at least one week in advance.

Student Mentors will also need to maintain excellent attendance in their main ISO ensemble. Exceeding two absences from your regular ensemble rehearsals will result in dismissal from the program.

Mentors are role models for young musicians. Please arrive 15 minutes before rehearsals to help students set up and warm up on their instruments.

First Rehearsal
Introduce yourself to the Conductor of the ensemble and the Coaches who work with your instrument group. Introduce yourself and learn the names of the younger students who are in your section.  The Conductor will also introduce you to the ensemble.  Music will be provided for you.

During Rehearsals
You will be playing with the students in the ensemble. The Conductor and Coaches may ask you to demonstrate passages for the younger students, suggest bowings, fingers, or breath marks. Mentors are expected to exhibit excellent rehearsal etiquette, including the following:

  • No cell phone use during rehearsal.
  • No gum, food, or drink other than bottled water in any rehearsal space.
  • Arrive with instrument and music, 15 minutes before rehearsal, ready to play.
  • Wait until the conductor is finished talking before talking to a student. Conductors will often give time during rehearsal for Mentors and Teaching Artists to provide feedback.

Community Service Credit
Upon completion of a mentorship, all student mentors will receive community service letters from ISO for their college applications.

If you are interested in joining the Student Mentor Program, please email Barry Stern at to arrange your schedule.