The Value of Promoting Music Education in Schools
Operating as a non-profit organization, the VH1 Save the Music Foundation is dedicated to promoting instrumental music education in public schools in the United States, while at the same time raising awareness of the essential role music plays in rounding out a child’s education. The foundation’s motto is “Music Education = Brainpower” and more than 1,800 public schools in over 100 cities around the country have benefited from $48 million worth of musical instruments distributed by the foundation since it was established in 1997.
In addition to donating musical instruments, the VH1 Save the Music Foundation helps public elementary and middle schools develop music programs that are long-term and sustainable, offering equal opportunities for children to participate in music education regardless of their personal and financial circumstances. Working along with school district authorities, and encouraging the superintendents and school boards to commit to funding salaries for certified music teachers, the foundation sets up programs to be integrated into the school day as part of the curriculum, thereby re-energizing dormant music programs.
The foundation’s Ambassador program is supported by a host of musical stars who help raise awareness of the importance of music as part of a well-rounded education, while at the same time assist in raising fund to keep the program growing. VH1 Save the Music Foundation Ambassadors include Lupe Fiasco, Vanessa Carlton, Katy Perry, Matthew Morrison, Chris Daughtry, Gavin Rossdale, and Jordin Sparks.
The list of success stories associated with the foundation is confirmation that they are on the right track. One such success story is related by David Haiman, the music teacher at PS/IS 180 in Harlem, New York City. He notes that as he enters his tenth year of teaching students to play the guitar, it is rewarding to see them progress, and to see more experienced students helping the beginners. In Minneapolis, the Jenny Lind Elementary School received 36 string instruments in the Fall of 2009. In February 2011, the school hosted its “Take Your Instrument Home Concert”, with 81 first-graders performing for an audience of family and friends, with great success. Coming from homes with limited resources, these children would not have had the opportunity of discovering their musical talent if not for the generosity of sponsors of the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, and the foundation’s dedication to promoting music education in schools.