It is well documented that music education can help children in a variety of ways. Benefits include increased brain function, higher test scores, and improved social interactions.
Despite research showing how important music is, music programs are often the first thing to go when budget cuts are necessary. However, despite increasing cuts, there are a variety of music foundations designed specifically to address this void.
Here are some of the most successful music foundations for children and how they seek to include children of all socioeconomic backgrounds.
Classics for Kids
Classics for Kids Foundation was established in 1997 and was granted non-profit status just one year later. It is now headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. The Foundation’s main goal is to curtail the decline of stringed instrument programs across the country.
Classics for Kids Foundation helps to give young people the opportunity to play high-quality instruments while reaping all the benefits of a solid musical education. The Foundation believes that playing an instrument can ultimately lead to success in all areas of life.
Classics for Kids Foundation created a string instrument grant program designed to give children of all ages and backgrounds access to new stringed instruments. It also provides local music programs with the funds necessary to sustain them.
In addition to helping the kids directly, the Classics for Kids Foundation also seeks to assist music instructors in getting a string program implemented either at school or in their communities. The Classics for Kids Grant Program provides detailed program ideas, a sample budget, and resources on how to create a successful string program.
The ASCAP Foundation
Founded in 1975, the ASCAP Foundation is a subsidiary of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), a music business membership association. The goal of the ASCAP Foundation is the development of music education through a variety of charitable programs that serve the community of music.
The Foundation’s primary focus is on providing everyone with access to music. It fulfills this mission by donating the necessary funds to a variety of other non-profit organizations, music groups, and music foundations.
The ASCAP Foundation’s Music Heals Division recognizes the importance of music’s effects on mental and emotional health. The programs supported by the Music Heals Division facilitate emotional, spiritual, and physical health through music.
This program has a specific focus on helping children with conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder and autism. It has a secondary focus helping on older adults with Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and even those who are homeless.
The Music Heals Division has been operating since the year 2000, and it has served approximately 1,700 public schools. Additionally, schools that participate in the Music Heals Division are treated to a unique curriculum for grades three through five.
The curriculum focuses on creativity, creative ownership, and copyright issues. This part of the program helps children understands their rights regarding intellectual property and teaches them the values of respecting the creative property of others.
Foundations of Music
Another foundation that is doing great work is Foundations of Music. The mission of Foundations of Music is to provide Chicago-area children with access to music education, allowing them the chance to express themselves in a creative way. Foundations of Music believes that children who are able to express themselves musically are well on their way to realizing their full potential in every area of life.
Foundation of Music partners with a variety of individuals and groups in order to provide top-notch music classes for students in and around Chicago, Illinois. These classes include general music ensembles-in-residence as well as songwriting and production.
Children are also able to apply for the Foundation’s Andrew Bird scholarship. This annual audition-based scholarship is awarded to one student at the Chicago High School for the Arts and provides one year of private music lessons.
As one of the foremost non-profit music organizations, Music Unites seeks to support music education in the US, as well as internationally. Music Unites is funded mainly through foundation partners, individuals, and other music-focused organizations. Music Unites recognizes that decreased government funding for arts and music education in schools is a huge problem, and it seeks to fill the gaps left by budget cuts.
Music Unites frequently hosts charity events featuring renowned musicians as a way to raise funds to sustain music programs. Additionally, Music Unites offers choir and music school programs, Music-versity workshops, as well as the Music Unites Guitar Program.
It seems that no matter how much emphasis is put on the importance of a music education, it is often the first thing to go in the face of financial crisis. What the removal of music from schools being such a widespread problem, the need for charitable music foundations is greater than ever. Hopefully, these organizations will continue to help kids enjoy the benefits of music education.