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Raised on the South Side of Chicago, where growing up can be a challenge, I was blessed to have found a driving force and comrade in music. My childhood years were spent in one of Chicago’s rougher neighborhoods, where drugs and violence pervaded the community. Thankfully, music steered me away from the stumbling blocks that eagerly await the missteps of most youth.

I can vividly recall my mother playing everything from the heralded singer Bobby McFerrin, to the gospel group Take 6, to the classical genius Beethoven. Our home was a festive fortress, filled with tunes from all music genres. It created a healthy distraction from the troubles beyond our modest apartment walls. Eventually, my family moved to a safer neighborhood and I was enrolled in an accelerated learning program, where I had the option to take music courses.

My music courses enhanced my knowledge of and passion for music. I participated in several music ensembles and received a music scholarship to attend Howard University. Some of the moments I cherish most in life are those that I spent as the section leader of my college drum line. I also enjoyed the television coverage, weekend travel, performing during the inauguration of President Barack Obama and leading my section to two first-place-finishes at the Apollo Theater and Madison Square Garden.

After graduating from Howard, I attended law school. While I valued the educational experience, I felt disconnected from music and more importantly, the community. In my second year, I founded a non-profit organization called The MusicianShip. It brought me joy and fulfillment to know that I was positively affecting students, by providing a musical platform for life-achievement.

The Musicianship has allowed me to travel to countries that I only dreamed of visiting and interact with musicians, artists and personalities of whom I have always been a fan. What I love most about my work with The MusicianShip is the fact that we can alter a student’s life trajectory and better position them to attend college. When I consider the impact of music, I am encouraged to share that gift and its accompanying opportunities.

Music has been a parent, a friend and a mentor – the kind of parent that inculcates knowledge and disciplines appropriately; the kind of friend whose company always ushers in some fun; and the kind of mentor that inspires you to work for yourself and others. Music, in many ways, has served as a vehicle for my own happiness and achievement.

Live H.O.P.E. Give H.O.P.E.

Jeffery L. Tribble, Jr.
Guest Blogger

About the Author

Jeffery L. Tribble, Jr. is a magna cum laude graduate of Howard University with a degree in Legal Communications. He earned his Juris Doctorate from The George Washington University Law School, where he held an Executive Office in the Black Law Student’s Association and was a Dean research assistant. Jeffery is currently the President and Executive Director of The MusicianShip, a non-profit organization that changes lives with music. For more information about The MusicianShip, please visit TheMusicianShip.org, follow them on Twitter @TheMusicianShip, Like them on Facebook/TheMusicianShip and observe them on Instagram: TheMusicianShip!