We hear it every day – the gap between rich and poor is widening; the government is shifting priorities away from investing in the least fortunate in our society.
Here are the stark facts:
- Over 15% of the US population lives under the Federal poverty level of $24,000 per year for a family of four
- 33 million adults earn less than $10/hour
- Almost 70% of the poor are single parent families, mostly with a Mom or Grandma as head of household
- The majority live in large and small urban areas
In addition, urban schools are being squeezed by tight budgets; music and arts programs are being eliminated; and there is an emphasis on “teaching to a test” to pass State and Federal standard Math and Reading exams.
For many young people, the basic right to feel safe in their own neighborhoods is a foreign concept. Gang activity, drugs and violence are a standard part of their lives.
The net result is a profound lack of opportunity. The opportunity to have a safe place to live and play. The opportunity to get a good education. The opportunity to build the skills necessary to earn a living wage. The opportunity to strive and succeed.
We can’t solve all the world’s problems but we know a magical fact: Kids Love Music!
What if there was a subject that kids actually wanted to study. What if that one subject improved their reading and math skills, taught them history, stimulated their creativity, gave them a voice and encouraged them to be part of a team. Music is that subject.
If we can reach one person and give her – or him – a safe place to get excited by music and to capture that excitement, to build academic social and life skills, it’s a great start. Every journey begins with the first step – providing opportunities particularly for our youth. If these opportunities can begin to break the cycle of poverty and violence, it’s a step worth taking.
Providing opportunities through music. This is why we exist. This is what we do.
“Changing Lives. One Note at a Time”