About the Foundation
The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation 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, started the foundation in 1996 as his commitment to the future of music education.
The foundation donates both new and refurbished instruments to 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.
The foundation's mission is narrowly focused and efficiently administered by a staff with long-term relationships in the music education community and the music products industry. We are supported by a solid base of loyal donors who value music education for all children.
Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation Program
The Michael Kamen Grant is awarded to established Title 1 school- music programs throughout the country.
All applicants submit a pre-qualification form, and if the program meets our guidelines we invite them to apply for a grant of instruments and/or repairs to instruments already in their inventory. Applications are reviewed once each year to select music programs that:
- demonstrate financial need and whose students are from low-income families
- have an established music program and strong participation
- show administrative support of the program
- have knowledgable and professional teachers
- present a compelling case for how the grant will benefit their students
When selected to receive a grant, the foundation distributes excellently refurbished instruments and purchases new instruments that become the property of the school. Our 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. The foundation purchases quality products that will last for many years, allowing generations of students to use them.
Every year, an average of 4,000 young people across the country benefit from The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation 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 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.
For more information about the benefits of arts education, visit Support Music
Click here for a list of grant recipients