Inspire and Educate Your Young Musician


Disclaimer :: FWM is happy to partner with the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra to share information about its programs with our readers. This is a sponsored post.

Young violinists playHello! My name is Ellie, and I am 18 years old. I primarily play violin, but I have recently enjoyed the process of learning a new instrument: the piano. I am honored to have the opportunity to share my journey of how I fell in love with the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra.

I was drawn to music, especially orchestral music, at a young age. I remember my mom asking me if I would like to learn an instrument, and of course I eagerly said, “Yes!” Looking back, I am so fortunate to have been given that opportunity.

I began studying the violin with the Suzuki method but soon after I became interested in learning fiddle style. Well, after a two-year fiddling detour, I quickly decided I preferred classical music. It was around this time I learned about the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra.

Although I knew nothing about the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra, I was desperately eager to be a part of an orchestra. The whole concept of so many instruments joining together to make a harmony of music fascinated me at even a young age. 

I walked into Orchestra Hall, home of the FWYO, for my audition not knowing what to expect. I was placed in the string orchestra.

I spent two years in the string orchestra. I not only learned how to read music during this time, but also began making sweet friendships that I have kept until this day. When the time came for me to leave the string orchestra and move to the next orchestra, I was devastated. I loved where I was, and I could not imagine it getting any better. However, once I transitioned to the philharmonic orchestra, I was amazed.

young musicians smile
Fort Worth Youth Orchestra violinist Ellie

At the first rehearsal, I remember playing the beginning couple of notes and realizing that I was in a FULL orchestra. The sound was so enormous and finally complete. Having all the instruments to create this music, I understood that I had to not only listen to the strings, which I was used to hearing, but also I had to open my ears to what the woodwinds, brass, and percussion were playing. This was one of the many skills I acquired in the philharmonic orchestra. This would be crucial for me to begin learning as I moved up to the youth orchestra two years later. 

The youth orchestra brought much challenge and growth not only as a musician, but also as a person. The discipline required to practice regularly and to rehearse with the orchestra several hours every week is something that has helped shaped my work ethic.

In the youth orchestra, we are given music that professional musicians play and are expected to perform it at a high level. Dr. Gutierrez’s expertise and passion for music, young musicians, and conducting is quite amazing and unique. I know that the youth orchestra would not be at the same level if it were not for Dr. Gutierrez’s devotion to encouraging us to be the best musicians we can be. 

I am so grateful to have been a part of such a remarkable program. I have grown in so many ways, and I am thankful for all the staff and leadership that pour into our development. Being a part of the youth orchestra has helped shape my life and prepared me for what lies ahead.

Fort Worth Youth Orchestra LogoThe Fort Worth Youth Orchestra (FWYO) welcomes young musicians into a community that strives to educate and inspire a life of excellence through classical orchestral performance. FWYO is accepting audition applications through April 15. Go to for more information. Follow FWYO on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram — or visit


  1. Well articulated, intelligent observation. Am pleased for opportunities for young people to participate with orchestra. Too bad other cities don’t offer these opportunities.


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