"The mentor knows the axioms of the trade. This is a person who can teach principles and values. The mentor may or may not have already mastered technique or theory, but is still working on it. A mentor is able to excite the wonder and inspiration for a particular area, even after years and years of practice." 

-Tim Sharp, Mentoring in the Ensemble Arts

What Is an ACDA Mentor?

As a mentor in ACDA's Mentoring Program, you are a guide, friend, and resource who shares your education, preparation, and professional experience to help students, new conductors, and peers grow professionally.

As a mentor you play several roles, including the following: 

  • Motivator: Expresses belief and confidence in the mentee's abilities, and encourages the mentee to try new things. 
  • Resource: Teaches and advises the mentee on how to make professional contacts, and introduces the mentee to new people, places or ideas.
  • Supporter: Encourages open and honest dialogue, and listens to and responds to the needs of the mentee.
  • Coach: Helps the mentee develop, and work to achieve, realistic and meaningful goals.

The Mentoring Relationship

For mentoring to be successful there must be a reciprocal, comfortable relationship between mentor and mentee. Both parties must work at the relationship to make it successful by being open-minded, respectful and keeping to the expectations they have set for the relationship. Ideally, the mentoring relationship will be mutually beneficial for both the mentor and mentee.