To equip, train and empower teachers to lead hands-on music making with students in their classrooms as an integral part of learning every subject. Our regionally based grassroots programs prepare educators and staff to sing, play guitar, teach, arrange and lead songs for learning as well as compose lyrics with their students in service of academic success.
We envision a future when schools integrate music making across the curriculum, engaging every kind of student to embrace learning more joyfully, becoming increasingly creative, possessed of knowledge, and successful in school and life. We see a time when all teachers can comfortably lead music to enrich their classroom communities while providing daily musical access for every child in complement to a strong, sequential music education program.
Rachel Wise completes High School Community Service Requirement at Downers Grove High School
During Muriel`s Annual Thanksgiving Show Sally Schlecker of Evanston, accepted the "Those Who Make A Difference Award" and grant check on behalf of Guitars in the Classroom, pictured with Rachel Wise of Logos School St. Louis.
Muriel recently honored Guitars in the Classroom at the annual Downers Grove Thanksgiving concert with Special Guest Howard Levy this year
W.O. Smith Music School makes affordable, quality music instruction available to children from low-income families. We transform lives through music. The W.O. Smith Music School has introduced thousands of interested and deserving children to the world of music.
Through hard work and perseverance, W.O. Smith earned a PhD, was the professor of music at Tennessee State University, a member of the Nashville Symphony, and a noted jazz bassist. He played with the great jazz players of the time, including Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. He had a dream that by offering musical instruction to low-income families that these children could change their lives also.
In 1984, his dream became a reality, when the W.O. Smith Music School opened its doors. Currently the school has over 400 students enrolled in over 500 classes. Beyond the classroom, the school encourages participation in community cultural life through concert attendance and performance.
Muriel Anderson presents a grant check to Laurel Fischer, Development Coordinator, W.O. Smith/Nashville Community Music School.
W.O. Smith Music School
1125 8th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203
Founded in 1887, the San Diego Center for Children (SDCC) is San Diego’s oldest accredited non-profit organization. Today, SDCC has become a leader in providing mental health services to children and families within our community. We offer a variety of programs for children facing behavioral, emotional, social, and educational challenges.
As of 2009, Music Program Director, Sundiata Kata has spent four decades teaching troubled young people to work out their frustrations and aggressions with music. After taking a job in the late sixties as a social worker with the San Diego Center for Children, eventually earning such acclaim that June 18, 2009, was declared Sundiata Kata Day by the mayor of San Diego.
This professional musician has taught dozens of classes on singing, drumming, even the ukulele. For his students, Kata insists, music is no frill: “It’s a way for these kids to communicate.”
The magic and power of music is changing the lives of children at the San Diego Center for Children. Our Performing Arts Program is restoring trust and hope in children who have suffered abuse, trauma, or have severe developmental behavioral problems. Through music, our children are coping with their pain and aggressions.
Our hands-on Music Program, with Director, Sundiata Kata and his staff, offer multiple opportunities for children and adolescents to get involved in a positive musical experience of health and wellness.
Muriel Presents the "Those Who Make A Difference" Award to Sundiata Kata.
KEYS’s mission is to bring private one-to-one piano, cello, classical guitar, and violin lessons, and group music instruction to under-served children in Bridgeport, CT who have no other access to this empowering life experience.
KEYS agrees with the many studies that have demonstrated that children benefit intellectually, emotionally, and socially from musical instruction. In providing this opportunity, KEYS serves this community in a unique and important manner.
KEYS provides private cello, piano, violin, and classical guitar lessons, taught by experienced instructors, during the school day to Bridgeport children whose families do not have the means to pay for music instruction. KEYS also conducts music awareness, music fundamentals, group recorder, and group choral lessons, all on school grounds, both after-school and during the summer.
Since it was founded in 2004, KEYS has grown from four students to over one hundred and fifty ranging in age from kindergarten to high school students. Reflecting Bridgeport’s diversity, KEYS students are Asian, African, African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic – and are united in their love of music.
Free Guitars for Future Stars (FG4FS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that was formed in January, 2009, by Scott Neumann, Cheryl Neumann, and Matt Mickelsen. FG4FS is working to supply free guitars and guitar lessons to children, ages 7-17, from low-income McHenry County (IL) families.
Many schools that are in financial trouble begin “fixing” their funding problems by eliminating programs. Music and Art programs seem to always be the first to feel the pinch. But even in a healthy school system, music programs rarely include applied lessons on the guitar. This leaves many children from low-income families without ever getting the chance to experience the joys of playing the guitar. Our mission is to help “Free Guitars for Future Stars” fill this void by making free guitars and lessons available to children from low-income families
Free Guitars for Future Stars
P.O. Box 1781
Woodstock, IL 60098
"Keeping the Music Playing"
MFLA honors Music for Lifelong Achievement is St. Louis!
St. Louis-area Starbucks stores will once again help to "Keep the Music Playing" for disadvantaged students throughout the region with the annual Music for Lifelong Achievement (MFLA) Instrument Drive, October 17-November 20, 2011.
A separate and distinct charity from Muriel Anderson's Music for Life Alliance, The Music For Lifelong Achievement is a non-profit organization based at the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis, MO that seeks donations of used and new musical instruments, then donates the instruments to school and community music programs serving disadvantaged young people.
Music for Lifelong Achievement also raises funds for instrument repair and musical accessories.
As part of the MFLA effort, an Advisory Board of nationally and internationally known musicians has been formed to help bring prestige and attention to the program. Advisory members include our own Muriel Anderson!
Call The Sheldon at (314) 533-9900 for more information!
E-mail MFLA Coordinator Nicole Leone. She will contact you to answer any questions you may have. For snail mail, send to address below, and we'll provide additional information.
The Sheldon Concert Hall
3648 Washington Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108
the Rythmic Arts Project
The Rhythmic Arts Project (T.R.A.P.) was founded in 1997 by Eddie Tuduri. The project is essentially an education program utilizing drums and percussion to address many basic life skills in the field of developmental disabilities.
The project brings together percussionist's and drummers and other volunteers in concert with administrators, activity directors and aids at various facilities, now growing in popularity throughout the United States.
The committee's hope is to develop a plan to bring the work of TRAP also to Mexico, South Africa, Taiwan, and Lebanon.
The Rhythmic Arts Project is meant to enhance existing therapeutic modalities. By integrating drums and percussion into proven methods of healing and teaching, this innovation has spawned a new and enjoyable learning curve.
During these and other TRAP sessions, participants are also identifying appropriate ways to begin a conversation with others, learning ways to lead a group of peers through social language activities, and sustaining conversation while socially engaging with their peers.
Some of the many benefits of TRAP include increased self-esteem, peer relationships and team building, development of leadership qualities, and of course, exploring music!
Eddie Tudurdi's professional drumming career began when he was only 14 and he landed his first record deal at 16. He's recorded and toured with a host of famous talents including the Beach Boys. In 1997, he broke his neck in a body surfing accident. "Rhythm Therapy figured considerably in my recovery," he said. He went on to found TRAP and sign on corporate sponsor Pearl Drums in Nashville. Pearl's TRAP package includes 30 some professional quality percussion instruments at a fraction of its retail cost.
Guitars in the Classroom (GITC) inspires, trains and equips general classroom teachers and specialists to integrate music and music making across the academic curriculum through “song-based instruction” so students of all ages have the opportunity to learn through making music together in class, everyday. Our work prepares and supports educators to lead the way competently and confidently, employing music as a powerful tool for reaching all learners, teaching all subjects, and building character and community in their classrooms.
United Nations Initiative Work: Music as a Natural Resource
Guitars in the Classroom is now working with a United Nations committee for the establishment of Millenium Development Goals. This committee, titled "Music As a Natural Resource," is examining ways to create a plan for the alleviation of suffering in isolated communities and developing nations by implementing group music making that draws people together where they can receive valuable support, training, and helpful resources.
The committee's hope is to develop a plan to bring the work of GITC to Mexico, South Africa, Taiwan, and Lebanon to start.
Music for Life Alliance is funding the creation of a short video piece showing the core of Guitars in the Classroom’s trainings for potential supporters of this work.
GITC - NY, New York
Chris Hills has trained 48 teachers in New York City to integrate music. Music for Life Alliance is an official sponsor of this program.
GITC - Ocean Springs, Jackson County, MS
Already severely affected by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, financially depleted, and the teachers and children of Jackson County have very few resources. GITC instructor Kate McMahon offers a course for teachers of children with special needs, as well as for teachers of children who are learning English as a second language in conjunction with Head Start of Jackson County. Music for Life alliance is an official sponsor of the Jackson County GITC Program.
GITC - Traverse City, Michigan
Severely affected by the downturn in the auto industry, and the economy, many people living here are at or below poverty level. The community has a large number of itinerant migrant farm workers whose children do not speak English. Amy Martin is a seasoned GITC instructor, who launched the program here 2 years ago, and continues her work. She provides a class for teachers to learn how to integrate music into their classrooms.
GITC - Oahu, Hawaii
The Hawaiian public schools have so few resources, that until recently it looked as though there would be 17 non-teaching Fridays in the current school year. Despite the rich musical heritage of Hawaii, there are no music education programs in the schools, and people cannot afford to buy musical instruments.
Guitars in the Classroom received a small grant from The Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation (Jack Johnson) to develop teacher training materials and offer a single workshop to train teachers to integrate lessons of eco-sustainability into the school science curriculum.
The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation (MHOF) was inspired by the acclaimed motion picture Mr. Holland’s Opus, the story of the profound effect a dedicated music teacher had on generations of students. The film's composer, Michael Kamen, founded MHOF in 1996 as his commitment to the future of music education.
MHOF donates both new and refurbished instruments to school and after-school music programs that lack the resources to keep up with equipment loss due to attrition, depreciation and wear over time, and to accommodate students on waiting lists or who have to share instruments. An infusion of instruments enables more students to participate and to experience a quality music education. It is vital that efforts are made to give youngsters every tool available within the small window of time when they can make the most of their education, and experience the benefits inherent in learning to play music.
When selected to receive a grant, MHOF distributes excellently refurbished instruments and purchases new instruments that become the property of the program. MHOF's program staff follows the process from start to finish. If repairs are requested, an estimate for the cost of the repairs is submitted by the local music store, and when repairs are complete the instruments are returned to the school in a timely manner. MHOF purchases good, quality products that will last for many years, allowing generations of students to use them.
Every year, an average of 10,000 young people across the country benefit from MHOF Programs. Students who can't afford to rent an instrument and kids on waiting lists are given an opportunity to play quality instruments which improves their experience and inspires them to accomplish more and more. A grant from MHOF elevates the music program and elicits more support and demand for music education for all students. Schools have fewer discipline problems, higher attendance and have more kids graduate when they are involved in the music program. Kids learn a skill and positive behaviors that will last well into their lives.
The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation keeps music alive in our schools and communities by donating musical instruments to under-funded music programs, giving youngsters the many benefits of music education, helping them to be better students and inspiring creativity and expression through playing music.
Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation
4370 Tujunga Avenue, Suite 330
Studio City, CA 91604
A San Francisco Bay Area non-profit organization with national impact.
Since 1983, Music in Schools Today (MuST) has served public school grades K-12 in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are a 501(c)3 tax exempt nonprofit. Read more about our programs and history.
MuST is the Bay Area's answer to the crisis in music education. Despite extensive research indicating that music instruction supplies intellectual, emotional and physical components critical to children's development, music and arts programs are often the first victims of budget cuts.
MuST combats this trend with a comprehensive set of programs that are resistant to budget slashing. MuST serves over 21,000 children and youth annually in schools and community centers, conducts research and development and advocates to restore music as an essential principle of pre-K through 12 education.
In San Francisco, The Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice estimates that approximately one-third of African American males between the ages of 15 and 17 are arrested and placed in Juvenile Hall each year. (DCYF Community Needs Assessment, 2005). Less than 1% of the at-risk kids we served for two years have become residents of Juvenile Hall.
Achieving Through Music is a pilot program of Music in Schools Today, which provides therapeutic percussion, world music and movement classes to at-risk youth in Bay Area schools and community centers. The program connects students to the learning process through caring and skillful intervention. It includes music classes, one-on-one, dyad or triad intervention, as well as student performances. Workshops and drum circles featuring students and music professionals involve parents and community.
We are planting music programs in schools and community centers serving our most underserved youth, demonstrating how making music can help improve self-esteem by transforming loss, anger and alienation into personal growth and inner discipline, rather than violence. Students learn self-expression, cooperation, altruism and bankable music skills, as well as respect for teachers and mentors. The long-term goal of the program is to reduce violence and other at-risk behaviors among youth and to improve academic performance, school attendance and life skills. Achieving Through Music includes a web site for young musicians and provides role models, mentoring and vocational training for youth who have the talent and discipline and wish to advance in music.
Music in Schools Today
582 Market Street, Suite 213
San Francisco, CA 94104
New Orlean's free music education and academic mentoring prgram
Life is hard on New Orleans children after Katrina. Music is a great way to develop talent, to express oneself creatively, to learn discipline, to make friends and to stay off the streets away from violence and drugs.
To fill this void Derrick Tabb - snare drummer of the Rebirth Brass Band - started The Roots of Music. Today we have almost 100 students, making up a full marching band and we successfully performed at five Mardi Gras parades this year.
The program has become so popular that we currently have a waiting list for new students. To help us increase the program, please donate, so we can help even more children.
The destruction of Hurricane Katrina forced the entire city to rebuild. Unfortunately, our children are paying the greatest price. Middle-schools in New Orleans no longer offer music programs. The Roots of Music aims to assist the education system in providing a well rounded arts curriculum with academic support.
Muriel Anderson and The Music For Life Alliance wishes to offer acknowledgement and congratulations and encouragement to The Roots of Music Organization of New Orleans.
The Roots of Music is a not-for-profit organization designed to address the critical need for middle-school music education in the city of New Orleans. By rekindling the city's marching band culture we commit ourselves to preserving our city’s musical legacy and most importantly providing an alternative to street life. Currently, 90 students are receiving free musical instruction five days a week. Your $500 tax deductible donation provides a sponsored child with transportation to and from the program, band uniform, instrument rental/care, meals, and academic tutoring.
Victor Wooten´s Bass/Nature Camp
Victor Wooten is the bassist with the Grammy Award winning Béla Fleck & The Flecktones. Since the age of 5, Victor has been entertaining and amazing audiences around the world with his funky grooves and jaw-dropping thumb technique. He also has an intense love of the outdoors and a deep commitment to education. He has been teaching music for many years and has studied and practiced outdoor skills with Tom Brown, Jr., Charles Worsham, and others. He teaches basic animal tracking in Nashville, TN. Victor will be teaching both music and outdoors skills during each day of the camp.
"Muriel Anderson and the Music for Life Alliance have donated funds for the purpose of a scholarship for one camper/student to attend the Bass/Nature Camp Music/Nature Camp. It is our purpose that this gift go to a student with appropriate needs or one who may lack the resources who might not otherwise attend your wonderful camp experience".
Upcoming camps to know about:
Victor Wooten´s "Music/Nature Camp"
Oct. 6-11, 2009 That´s right - ANY INSTRUMENT!!!
Following the true-and-tested model of Victor Wooten´s Bass/Nature Camp, Music/Nature will provide the same unique experiences to ALL musicians. Students will spend time with qualified music instructors catering to your specific instrument as well as time spent in ensemble classes. Experienced nature staff will provide exercises and activities designed to heighten the student´s sensitivity and awareness - providing all with an educational, enjoyable, and unforgettable week. DETAILS or email email@example.com
Muriel Presents the "Those Who Make A Difference" Award to James Burton at the Ryman Theatre
Two icons of the guitar and philanthropy meet for a good cause
Saturday July 18th, a very special night, when on behalf of the Music for Life Alliance, Muriel Anderson presented an award and a check to Mr James Burton for the James Burton Foundation
The James Burton Foundation is dedicated to raising money to provide technical training, music lessons and free guitars to young musicians.
The James Burton International Guitar Festival was created to help raise funds for the James Burton Foundation.
James was fortunate that his parents sacrificed to purchase his first Fender guitar. Through his humble beginnings, James learned that a quality instrument is very important. It's been James' dream to give back to the community by helping young musicians realize their potential. Your participation in the James Burton International Guitar Festival and donation to the James Burton Foundation enables future generations of musicians to keep the music alive!
Proceeds from the Festival go to guitars for schools age kids, patients young and old in hospitals and American Veterans
James Burton, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member since 2001.
Since the 1950s, Burton has recorded and performed with an array of notable singers, including Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, John Denver, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Joni Mitchell to mention a few
Notes for Notes for Notes Music Education Outreach
Notes for Notes is non-profit organization dedicated to giving youth the opportunity to explore and experience music, and to provide children with positive, safe, and inspiring environments to help direct their lives away from negative social situations.
The MusicBox I is located within the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Barbara, Inc. The MusicBox is a drop-in center offering free access and instruction on guitars, basses, drums, keyboards, dj/turntables and a full recording studio environment. Notes for Notes was founded on the core belief that music is the universal language of humankind, and has the power to transcend virtually any barrier, be it economic, cultural, racial, or societal. As such, music promises a route via which underprivileged youth may redirect their energies into activities that benefit themselves, their community, and the world at large.
The Notes for Notes team is working hard to raise financial support for their programs and to foster community awareness of the opportunities music can create in promoting positive changes in the lives of youths.
Notes for Notes is, in its current stage of development, a very small grass roots organization with a very big dream. If the porganization's founders are given the means to fully realize their vision, the program will spread nationwide, affording regular, free access to music education and music-making opportunities for children across America. As music programs continue to be excised from school curriculum, Notes for Notes will fill the void, ensuring that no child is denied the opportunity to experience the life-altering power that music can provide.
Their mission is straightforward: provide guitars and lessons to foster children, at risk youth and other deserving children in a classroom setting with qualified teachers. The results to date are far reaching: Guitars not Guns has now helped over 1000 children and teens. Founders Ray and Louise Nelson knew from raising foster children themselves that playing a musical instrument could help teens and children with their confidence and self-esteem, as well as laying the foundation for richer and more positive lives. They started small, gathering unused instruments for foster children from friends in their San Jose area, obtained tax-exempt status, and conducted the first classes with two volunteer teachers. Not satisfied with materials available, they created GnG's own curriculum and lessons.
An activity doing this much good would not remain local; they now operate in eleven states, while headquarters has shifted from San Jose to the Atlanta, Georgia area. Ray designed and built a car and a motorcycle, each styled in the image of a guitar, which he drives at events publicizing and promoting Guitars not Guns. While he is rightly recognized for his efforts in creating and growing this organization, Ray is quick to credit Gibson Guitars and other sponsors who generously support the cause.
Guitars not Guns seeks volunteers for important roles: starting new state affiliates or county chapters, teachers, assistant teachers, program coordinators, fundraising, and other functions. Although a $100 donation will equip a new student, donations in any amount are appreciated. No students are turned away due to financial hardship.
Muriel Anderson, Founder of Music for Life Alliance, recently made a visit to the All Children's Hospital in St Petersburg, Florida. Along with Ted Wagner from Music Sweet Music and Julie Tatro, Music Therapist at the Hospital.
There was an enjoyable interactive music concert held at the clinic put on by Muriel.
"Those Who Make a Difference Award"
In addition to visiting and performing for the children, Muriel was in Florida to present the "Those who make a Difference Award" and financial support award as well to Ted Wagner and Music Sweet Music. The Music for Life Alliance supports Organizations like Music Sweet Music who support Music Education efforts for children.
Professional saxophone player Ted Wagner was a firsthand witness to the therapeutic power of music when he worked as a music therapy volunteer at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. "Music gives voice to their pain and their fears," Wagner explained during an interview at his Pasadena office, "and allows them to express themselves creatively."
Guitars in the Classroom inspires, trains and equips teachers to integrate daily music-making and "song-based learning" in general and special classrooms for students of all ages. The work promotes academic engagement and achievement by actively motivating students through singing songs, playing guitar, and participating a range of musical activities that include vocal training, songwriting and expressive movement. Classes are ongoing and free to classroom teachers.
Educators who train with GITC typically provide free daily music making for as many as 1600 students in a region.
GITC's Chicago area program has started in the historical Pilsen district where GITC is working with an innovative and distinguished child development organization called El Valor, under the guidance of Vincent Allacco, to train 70 early childhood educators in music integration, many whom are native Spanish speakers and whose students are acquiring English as a second language.
The Old Town School of Folk Music teaches and celebrates music and cultural expressions rooted in the traditions of diverse American and global communities.
As we began our 50th year in 2007, enrollment in Old Town School tuition programs averages close to 6,000 students per week, 2,700 of them children. The Lincoln Square and Lincoln Park facilities hold hundreds of classes and workshops in music, dance and art for adults, children and teens seven days per week, 48 weeks per year. Early childhood and middle school music programs thrive in three suburban branches as well as in several community outreach programs throughout the city.
Young and old, beginners and advanced players, people from various cultures and traditions come together to create music and learn from each other.
Teaching playing skills--- and making opportunities for students to enjoy making music with others--- the Jones Family Music School in Lombard, IL has been helping people improve their lives by making their own music for over 40 years.
West Suburban Chicago's first folk music school, JFMS offers classes and private lessons in banjo, fiddle, mandolin, lap and hammered dulcimer, and autoharp--- based on the teaching principles of the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago.
As one student put it: "Thank you for inviting me into your home as part of your musical family!"
Success Through the Arts Foundation
Success Through the Arts Foundation is dedicated to using the arts as a catalyst to the education of students who have been traditionally underserved by the public schools, underrepresented in higher education, and deprived of opportunities that could enable them to realize rich and productive lives.
Their Mission is to create an environment where students of all ages could learn to appreciate and produce music and art. The lessons learned through the program could enable them to realize rich and productive lives, and benefit from the arts as a means of building self-esteem, self-discipline, and social adjustment.
Music director Fernando B. Pullum is dedicated to STTAF's purpose. He desired more for his students than what their LA neighborhood offered them. In order to expose them to more of the world, he organized a band trip to Vail Colorado that has continued each year since its inception in 1996. Pullium's impact on his music students is astounding: 100% of them graduate high school and many go on to four-year degrees. Pullium truly desires to go above and beyond for his music students.
The Rhythmic Arts Project (TRAP) is an educational program designed to empower people with disabilities. Employing drums and percussion, the program teaches and enhances basic life skills such as: maintaining focus, using memory, taking turns, developing leadership, using numbers, using prepositional concepts, following instructions, and modeling.
The Rhythmic Arts Project enhances existing therapeutic modalities by integrating drums and percussion into proven methods of healing and teaching. The application varies depending on the population served, yet remains simple and basic in its presentation.
TRAP is a collaborative effort. Together, therapists, health care workers and aids, percussionists and drummers as well as the students endeavor to achieve a unique way to wellness, physically and mentally. Teaching occurs in an environment that is fun and not threatening so participants develop improved confidence and a more positive self-image.
Sheldon Arts Foundation and the Music for Lifelong Achievment at the Ryman
(Muriel at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville announcing the award to the Sheldon Arts Foundation)
With headquarters at the Sheldon Concert hall in St. Louis, Missouri. The Sheldon Arts Foundation and the Music for Lifelong Achievement remains dedicated to making the joy of music accessible to every child. To accomplish that goal, they seek the donation of used musical instruments from individuals and new instruments from manufacturers and distributors. MFLA then refurbishes the instruments if necessary, and provides them free of charge to school and community music programs serving disadvantaged young people.
(Presentation of the Award to Dale Benz representing the Sheldon Arts Foundation and the Music for Lifelong Achievment at the Ryman.)
Dedicated to expanding awareness of and appreciation for classical music. The foundation funds many projects including an Instrument Loan Program that provides music students with high-quality instruments that foster interest and excitement. Beyond instruments, the REB Foundation offers grants for musicians' other expenses such as accompanists and sheet music. The String Student's Library of Music by Black Composers is a major part of the organization that works as a supplemental curriculum to teach students about the rich ethnic heritage of music. Their newest initiative is Global Heartstrings. This global project aims to support musicians in developing countries such as Haiti, Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria. www.rebf.org
W.O. Smith Music School
Named for William Oscar Smith, member of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and professor at Tennessee State University, this nonprofit music school is dedicated to giving underprivileged music students a chance to succeed. Founded in 1984, this educational institution aims to make quality music education available to deserving children from low income families at a small free of 50 cents a lesson. Currently the school has over 350 students enrolled in over 500 classes. Beyond the classroom, the school encourages participation in community cultural life through concert attendance and performance. www.wosmith.org
The Riekes Center
The Riekes Center for Human Enhancement is a nonprofit mentoring organization that utilizes a multidisciplinary approach. Started by Gary Riekes in the late 1970s, the center emphasizes self-esteem building through study of the creative arts. The mission of the Riekes Center is to help students define and accomplish their goals and interests through Athletic Fitness, Creative Arts, and Nature Awareness; and to improve their character, self-confidence, and peer relationships. Now impacting more than 5000 kids with over 28 programs, the organization fosters an environment of mutual respect and encouragement. www.riekescenter.org
Little Kids Rock
A not-for-profit started by elementary school teacher David Wish in 1996. Little Kids Rock offers music education to children through a framework of popular music. The organization provides teaching materials to practitioners and teachers as well as providing instruments and music lessons to children who do not receive music education. Their goal is to maintain music as a critical part of elementary education in schools. Having served thousands of students in seven states, Little Kids Rock has become a nationally recognized not-for-profit. www.littlekidsrock.org
People's Music School
A non-profit charity,The People’s Music School, as the only totally free community music school in the United States, is a unique and special place. The School embodies the vision of its founder, Dr. Rita Simo. Rita learned to play the piano in her native Dominican Republic. After operating for twenty years in rented, makeshift quarters, the School constructed its own, specially designed facility in 1995. Today, the School’s thirty-three teachers offer instruction in thirteen different instruments (plus theory and voice) to nearly 500 different students each year. The vast majority of these students are children of ethnic minorities. (Photo: Muriel Anderson with Riata Simo and Vincent Centeno) www.peoplesmusicschool.org
Rock for Kids
Rock For Kids is a non-profit organization that provides support, inspiration and assistance to children that are homeless or in need. Committed to the dignity of our children, Rock For Kids works with families and organizations to positively impact and celebrate young lives.
Rock For Kids began as a holiday fundraising effort in 1988 with the goal to provide gifts for children living in homeless shelters. Youth Jam. Rock For Kids ' largest program brings free year-round music education to underprivileged and homeless children throughout the Chicago area. Through free music lessons Rock For Kids works to improve the self-esteem and confidence of the students, while introducing them to the joy of music. Initiated in 2000, with twenty students, the program now serves close to 500 children annually at fifteen Chicago sites. (Photo: Muriel Anerson with Paul Doppelt of Rock for Kids) www.rockforkids.org
Special mention to Washburn Guitars
Washburn Guitars, a mainstay of the Chicago area since 1883, was also honored for their long term support of music education. They were one of the first companies to support of the efforts of the Music for life Alliance, and throughout the years have donated instruments and raised funds for other music education charities as well. www.washburn.com