Listen Up: These Charities are Music to Our Ears
- Lauren Miura
…is so powerful -- it can transport you to other places, times, shift your mood, and most importantly, music has always been a catalyst for social change. As we count down to the 61st Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, we’re highlighting a few of our favorite music-related charities that you need to know about. Whether it’s creating the next generation of Grammy contenders, or using the power of song to heal, these causes are all creating a better world through music.
VH1 Save the Music Foundation
More than 5 million students in the U.S. lack access to a musical instrument, and funding for music programs is always on the chopping block. Since first calling attention to this crisis more than 20 years ago, the pioneering VH1 Save the Music Foundation is still going strong. Originally launched as a corporate initiative of VH1, the Foundation today is an independent charity that restores music education to needy schools across the country. So far, the Foundation has helped to restore music education to more than 2,000 public schools, touching the lives of more than 3 million children.
Little Kids Rock
Little Kids Rock brings music education with a modern twist to underserved public schools. Think less Beethoven, more Bruno Mars. Its signature “Modern Band” program teaches kids to play music by drawing from popular styles they already know and love, including rock, pop, reggae and hip hop. This charity’s unique approach -- which includes providing instruments to schools and training teachers -- gives kids the lifelong gift of music and the confidence to rock any situation in life.
Musicians On Call
If you’ve ever been to a concert, you’ve likely experienced the power of live music to improve your mood and lower stress. Musicians On Call brings the magic of live music to people who could truly use a boost: hospital patients undergoing treatment or unable to leave their beds. The organization brings volunteer musicians into hospitals for intimate, in-room music performances that create joy in a difficult environment. Since starting in New York City in 1999, Musicians on Call now serves patients and their families in more than 17 cities across the U.S.
Listening to a song can be comforting, but writing a song can be transformative. That’s the idea behind SongwritingWith:Soldiers. This Nashville-based organization runs retreats where veterans and active duty service members sit down with professional songwriters to co-write songs about their experiences. All songs are professionally recorded and distributed to the public, which helps shine a light on the challenges service members face. Most importantly, the songwriting process brings healing through creativity to a group of men and women who have given so much for our country.
"No matter who takes home a Grammy on Sunday, these charities are already winners for the change they’re making in people’s lives with music."