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A Melodic Journey: Reflecting on the History of Music with Dr. Mathew Knowles

February 26, 2024

Organized by The Community Initiative of New York (TCIONY)in partnership with Roads to Success (RTS), the event "History of Music with Mathew Knowles" unfolded yesterday at The Forum, Columbia University, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of over 350 enthusiastic youth. We extend our sincere appreciation to Mr. Al Cohen and Mrs. Janet Cohen,whose unwavering support made this extraordinary evening possible.

The Forum at Columbia University was abuzz with excitement as more than 70 Roads to Success youth, granted special permission to attend during school hours, gathered for a unique journey into the history of music.

The evening began with a warm welcome from Ms. Sheila Duke, setting the stage for an enlightening experience guided by the legendary Dr. Mathew Knowles. She was accompanied on stage by Dior, an 8th grader from New Design Middle School, who expressed her anticipation to learn from Dr. Knowles's unique perspective.

Dr. Knowles, a maestro in the world of music and mentorship, captivated the audience with his insights. His resonant words held profound meaning, emphasizing essential life lessons that transcend the boundaries of the musical realm.

One of the key takeaways from Dr. Knowles's session was the importance of "Thinking outside the Box." He brought this concept to life by literally placing two youth in a cardboard box, illustrating the constraints and limitations imposed by societal norms. The youth felt stuck and restricted, unable to move freely. Dr. Knowles urged them to break free from the mold society creates, encouraging them to question the system, challenge the process, and forge their own paths to success.

Throughout the session, Dr. Mathew Knowles shared a wealth of invaluable wisdom with the captivated audience. He passionately underscored the significance of work ethics, emphasizing that hard work, commitment, and focus are non-negotiable elements on the road to success. Furthermore, he encouraged a transformative perspective on failure, portraying mistakes as opportunities to grow rather than reasons to quit. Dr. Knowles ignited a collective aspiration to dream big, inspiring everyone to reach beyond the ordinary and strive for their loftiest goals.

In navigating the complexities of the journey to success, Dr. Knowles highlighted the importance of being strategic. He imparted insights on how strategic thinking can be a guiding compass in overcoming challenges. Dr. Knowles also addressed the crucial aspect of confidence, urging the youth to exude it in a world where first impressions carry significant weight. He emphasized that confidence and focus are not only essential on stage but in every facet of life, guiding individuals toward greater achievements. The collective impact of these lessons resonated deeply, leaving an enduring impression on the minds of the youth present at The Forum, Columbia University.

The interactive session witnessed engaging questions from the youth, including a poignant inquiry from a budding singer seeking motivation. Dr. Knowles, true to his commitment, transformed her performance by instilling confidence and offering practical guidance on technique and presentation.

As we express gratitude to Mr. Al Cohen and Janet Cohen for their support, we also extend appreciation to the dedicated RTS staff who worked behind the scenes, ensuring the seamless execution of this culturally enriching event. Along with RTS CEO Sheila Duke, the event was attended by CAO - Esther Kuykendoll, Deputy Director of Education & Career Pathways -Angelo Cabrera, Marketing and Communications Manager - Vidhi Guleria, and College Access & Pathways Program Coordinator - Tamara Willoughby.

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