A Year of Impact

Because of you, things happen. Kids engage. Connection spreads. Creativity grows. Schools and communities thrive. You enhance the life of a child through your support.

Here’s what you accomplished in the 2014/2015 school year:

2,899 instruments were delivered to 103 schools in 16 states across the country
22,244 music students in those schools received a better experience playing music
1,579 students who couldn’t afford to rent or buy their own instrument were able to participate in their school’s music program
1,713 students no longer have to share instruments
275 hours of additional instruction time in class because students don’t have to spend time disinfecting shared mouthpieces and taping old instruments

In addition, schools that received instruments reported graduation rates 9% higher and suspension rates 8% lower for students participating in instrumental music programs than the total school population. Of awarded schools, instrumental music students had a 1% dropout rate compared to the average dropout rate of 10% for the total school populations. (2013/14 school year results)

“I always tell people don’t look at it as giving a student a clarinet, look at it as if you are giving them a diploma.” Principal (and clarinet player) Zuleika Sanchez-Gayle, Albany NY

Highlights of our year:

Our partners at StubHub Foundation renewed their support with an ambitious goal to put $1,000,000 worth of new instruments into classrooms across the country in the 2015/16 school year. The project was announced at SXSW in Austin TX with a pop-up school marching band and performance by Portugal. The Man.
MHOF partnered with NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) for the second year of assisting the President’s Committee on Arts and the Humanities Turnaround Arts Initiative, where the most under-performing schools in the country are given an infusion of arts programming to help improve student performance and engagement.
As a result of last year’s extraordinary instrument drive with WQXR, 45 schools in New York City will be able to offer more students the chance to play when school starts this year.
Giving Tuesday on December 2 gave MHOF the chance to show what we do best: donate instruments to schools. We didn’t ask for donations – we let it rain instruments as we announced, through celebrity support, 13 schools that would benefit on that day. Through this social media campaign, we saw more than 1.4 million page views in 48 hours, showing the power of the message and positive response for music education.

Touching Lives

When Jonathan Rothe was offered the position of band director 15 years ago, the music program at Almeria Middle School was barely functioning, and his 36 students struggled with learning on scant old and broken instruments. Student turnover was high because of the transience in the community and most were English language learners from poor families.

This year, with 136 kids in the music program that offers band, strings, jazz band and Mariachi, Mr. Rothe has a thriving and growing program, but not enough instruments to go around. He sought the foundation’s help, as all students are sharing instruments, many of which he brings from home. The instruments they do have are ancient. In class, kids perform each song three times so that all kids get a chance to play, and plenty of class time is spent disinfecting trumpet and trombone mouthpieces. Their entire music budget from the district is spent on repairs. Band uniform for concerts is blue jeans and t-shirts.

“Sadly, we can barely maintain our currently stable of exhausted instruments, and the six guitars from my own collection that I lend to the school each semester barely covers the number of students desirous of expanding their musical horizons.”

Principal Bradley feels a strong commitment to music education and knows that music students tend to do better - their test scores outpace the kids not in music. She sees parents pack the auditorium to hear their children play and they appreciate the opportunity given to them that they would never have outside of school.

Happily, the foundation will support this school because of their determination, dedication to student learning and understanding that music education is a gateway to success, engagement and a memorable school experience.

Each school we give instruments to has a story and a dream. This is just one. And they are all filled with children eager to learn and benefit from playing music. Our donors give them that opportunity. Thank you!

Here is a list of the donors who made it happen.

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