Girl Scout offers ‘free summer music program’ for Mountainside middle schoolers to earn her Gold Award

Submitted by by Louise Rittberg

Allie Zimmermann, a 16-year-old sophomore at Governor Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey and a Senior Girl scout with Troop 40389 in Mountainside where she resides, is running a free summer music program for middle school students from Mountainside, New Jersey to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award. The Gold Award is the highest award in Girl Scouts and equivalent to the Boy Scout Eagle Award. Zimmermann is a member of the Governor Livingston High School’s marching, jazz, and concert bands, playing both the saxophone and bagpipes.
“According to a University of Miami School of Music middle/junior high school band directors’ report, students drop out of instrumental music in high school for fear of failure and because of the costs. I am providing a free program where Mountainside, New Jersey musicians entering the fifth through ninth grades in the Fall of 2018 can bring their instruments and work with other students, as well as volunteer musicians from Governor Livingston High School’s music programs, on any type of music they choose. While students can “drop-in” with their instruments, they can also sign-up in advance to reserve a spot with a student musician who plays the same instrument. The program is currently running Monday through Thursday, 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., July 9th to 12th and July 23rd to 26th at the Mountainside Rescue Squad facility, located at 1399 US Highway 22 East, Mountainside, New Jersey,” Zimmermann explained.
Noting that the summer sessions are planned to be fun for the middle school students, as well as offering a valuable opportunity to learn from fellow musicians not too much older than they are, Zimmermann noted that the younger musicians will gain confidence and be more likely to continue with their music in playing in the years ahead.
Zimmermann has been working closely with the Deerfield Middle School Band Director Tom Wise, who encourages his students to participate and continue playing their instruments over the summer months. Middle school musicians from Mountainside who wish to sign up should use the following link to
The middle school musicians will also be invited to attend a summer band camp performance by the Governor Livingston High School marching band in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey.  This will allow them to see their summer volunteers hard at work and understand what a marching band field show is and how it develops.
Questions about the Free Summer Music Program can be sent to