BUENA PARK, Calif. -- The Yamaha Band & Orchestral division has announced it will be partnering with DonorsChoose.org, an online nonprofit platform where teachers seek the resources their music students need most, to fund music education projects for the new school year. Yamaha will match every dollar spent on qualifying #MusicEssentials projects. Yamaha's $125,000 matching donation will generate $250,000 worth of supplies, which will assist teachers who spend an average of $945 of their own money every year on basic classroom supplies.
During a similar project in 2016, Yamaha's impact reached music classrooms in the following ways:
- Schools in 44 of the 50 states across the U.S. received donations
- 82,637 students were impacted
- 384 teachers had projects funded
- 369 schools participated
- 88 percent of the projects were from high-need schools
With often limited funding from schools and districts, 80 percent of teachers say that funding is the main hurdle they face in music education. This effort by Yamaha is designed to lessen the financial burden on teachers and provide a welcoming environment for students to learn and succeed.
"We are reaching a vast number of music students at the start of the school year and we're able to help them reach their full potential. I love leading an organization that values music education and is committed to arming teachers and students with the necessary materials they need for a successful and creative music classroom," said Garth Gilman, Corporate Vice President of the Band & Orchestral division at Yamaha Corporation of America.
Music education at a young age is a huge part of allowing students to get a well-rounded experience at school, which helps prepare the future of our workforce in the United States. Yamaha Artists like saxophonist Jeff Coffin and violinist Lindsey Stirling have participated in this effort, and are committed to helping ensure that young music students have the music supplies, creativity and welcoming environment that is needed to be successful.
One of the first projects Yamaha has funded this year is Mrs. Peterson's junior-high school music classroom in Westmoreland, Tenn. At her school, more than half of the students come from low-income and struggling families, and the students participate in the free-and-reduced lunch program. Her students want to be involved in music, but they are in need of essential materials like reeds, cleaners and grease to keep their instruments in working order. Without the proper materials, they're not set up for success. Yamaha and DonorsChoose.org are helping with the funding for Mrs. Peterson's classroom this fall.
One school that benefitted greatly from the campaign last year was located in low-income, high-poverty East Palo Alto, Calif. "Music is a unique vehicle to teach life skills and self expression," said Sarah Azevedo, from Cesar Chavez Academy and Ravenswood Middle School. "In my classroom, I promote a growth mindset and reinforce skills taught in core classes whenever possible, and Yamaha's Music Essentials campaign has helped make that possible for my students."
In addition to this project, Yamaha is committed to serving young musicians everywhere, with other efforts and partnerships including the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition, Music for All and hundreds more instrumental music organizations in the United States. To learn more about the #MusicEssentials campaign, visit 4wrd.it/musicessentials.
Visit www.donorschoose.org/intro to hear Oprah Winfrey and Stephen Colbert tell the DonorsChoose.org story.