"We love Music Matters and want the program to grow at our school!"
This is the consistent message we are receiving from principals and PTA members in schools where Music Matters provides music education for hundreds of children.
Our Director of Development, Kevin Phillips, has been meeting with prinicipals and members of the PTA at regional schools. He is testing their commitmment to the program.
"We do not want to be where we are not invited," Mr. Phillilps said. "This program is hard to execute effectively. We have to recruite, equip, and support qualified instructors. We have to manage hundreds of kids and their parents. We have to coordinate schedules, plan performances, and keep everyone happy, motivated and excited about learning music.
"Its not easy."
Despite the challenges, Mr. Phillips believes Music Matters is worth the effort.
Research continues to demonstrate that children who invest at least two hours a week in hands-on music education make gains in brain development that have meaningful results in academic outcomes.
The Kaiser Permamente Community Benefit Program thinks it's worth it too.
Kaiser recently asked YACM to submit a grant so Kaiser can support Music Matters with a $12,000 contribution to subsidize the program for low-income students.
"The bottom line is that what we do is hard," Mr. Phillips said. "We can't be successful where the program is not fully embraced by parents and school administrators.
"Music Matters is a collaboration between YACM and the school. Where that collaboration is not meaningfully present -- despite the value of the program -- we can't be in the position of having to push forward against institutional resistence.
"But commitment is able to remove any barrier."
Mr. Phillips is finding that schools are lining up with the necessary commitment to support the program.
"I am seeing a lot of enthusiam out there among parents and principals. I am anticipatiing a great year next year for Music Matters."