"To grow up studying music is a gift. I believe every kid should be given this gift.
"I believe that every single kid should have access to music education and an instrument. I reminisce about my first piano lesson with my teacher Anne Madison. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I never would have had my first piano lesson. I think all kids should have an opportunity to learn and study music.
"I believe Leonard Bernstein said it best, 'Music has lots of different uses in life. There are pieces that lift your spirit, or interest your mind, or fill you with religious or passionate or dreamy or triumphant feelings... some pieces are written only to amuse you.' I believe playing, making, hearing, studying, creating, and thinking about music makes life so fun and exciting.
"Here's a video essay (when I was 11).
"Below are amazing and inspiring leaders making music education for all kids happen in their communities. You can find out about them below. As I learn about more, I’ll add them to this list."
INSPIRATION: RUTH MEINTS
"It is such an exciting prospect to think of the life-changing journey that a person will take as they learn to play an instrument, igniting creativity, making millions of new connections in the left and right hemispheres of the brain, and experiencing the pure joy of music making." - Ruth Meints
Ruth Meints is the executive director of the Omaha Conservatory of Music and founder of String Sprouts. String Sprouts are FREE violin, viola, cello, and bass classes that aim to bring music education to children ages 3 - 8 in underserved areas in the Omaha-Council Bluffs metro area and beyond.
INSPIRATION: JOSEPH H. CONYERS
"When feeling powerless to make change in the world, start by sowing your own seeds of goodness for the future. You can make a difference.” - Joseph H. Conyers
“By viewing the world through the lens of music, young people can learn the value of hard work, gumption, grit, and determination.” - Joseph H. Conyers
Joseph H. Conyers, acting associate principal bass of The Philadelphia Orchestra, and founded the nonprofit Project 440. Project 440 uses music as a tool to engage, educate, and inspire young musicians, providing them with care and life skills to become tomorrow's civic-minded, entreprenurial leaders.
INSPIRATION: STANFORD THOMPSON
“To me, I think it’s pretty simple. Successful adults, they have developed these very important skills of focus and hard work. I’m a little bit biased, I think it can be beautifully accomplished through music.” - Stanford Thompson
Play On Philly was founded in 2011 by Curtis Institute of Music graduate Stanford Thompson and Philanthropist Carole Haas Gravagno, and now celebrates nearly a decade of providing high-quality music education at no cost to underserved students in Philadelphia. We strive to engage the entire community through partnerships, community events, and performances in venues across the Philadelphia region and beyond. They provide 2 hours of music instruction and ensemble practice every day after school and over 25 performance opportunities throughout the year.