Music in the United States has been inspirational to not only American culture but also international cultures. American Blues, Jazz, Rock, and Hip Hop have influenced musicians from England to Japan. In addition to being a cultural bridge, music is therapeutic. No matter your race, age, nationality, music can serve as a soundtrack in the best of times and solace in the worst. With the pressures on children in today's society, a musical outlet can be instrumental. Unfortunately, school districts, particularly in low income areas, have suffered from shrinking budgets. Music programs are among the first to be sacrificed on the budget sheet. Such cuts have greatly limited music education to students who may not be able to afford private lessons. Even in those school districts that have been fortunate enough to preserve their music education programs many students are unable to afford the music instruments required to participate in bands and orchestras. Can you imagine the talent that goes undiscovered because students do not have the means to express themselves?
In Washington DC, Hungry for Music is a non profit "organization that supports music education and cultural enrichment, both in the United States and abroad, by acquiring and distributing quality musical instruments to underserved children with willing instructors and a hunger to play." You can show support for the Hungry for Music organization and the children it serves by visiting the website and making a monetary donation, donating an instrument and/or purchasing CD's. The proceeds from CD sales goes to providing music instruments to children in need.
As the economy continues to struggle, more school district budget cuts are likely to occur. As a mother and lover of music, I encourage parents and all interested citizens to support their local non profit organizations that are dedicated to bringing music education and/or music instruments to all children.
Other non profit organizations around the country that share the mission of providing music education and/or instruments to underserved children include but are not limited to the following:
The Fender Music Foundation
VH1's Save the Music