Cascades, Rotary Music4Life Will Expand Music Education In Seattle
A unique partnership among Northwest Youth Music Association (the parent organization of the Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps), the Seattle Public Schools and Seattle area Rotary clubs will expand music education for all children in Seattle Public Schools. The mission of Rotary Music4Life is to expand all music education. One immediate goal is to acquire instruments for use by elementary age music students. Twelve hundred instruments are needed over the next two years.
Donated instruments will contribute to Rotary Music4Life’s $640,614 phase 1 fundraising goal, which includes resources for supplies and repairs. The nonprofit Northwest Youth Music Association, will own and maintain the instruments, providing them as needed to aspiring student musicians who qualify for free- or reduced-price lunch.
“As a musician, I know first hand the importance of musical education early in life,” said Superintendent Maria L. Goodloe-Johnson. “This program will bring such joy to our children, all of whom need art and music as part of an excellent education.”
Currently, 36 percent of all 4th and 5th grade students in Seattle Public Schools participate in instrumental music programs. Rotary Music4Life intends to increase that number 50 percent. This year alone, more than 100 fourth and fifth grade students who signed up for music classes were unable to participate because they did not have access to instruments.
Rotary Music4Life is the brainchild of the Rotary Club of Seattle and other Rotary District 5030 leaders, in partnership with Seattle Public Schools. Rotary has a history of supporting music education in Seattle Public Schools, and Rotary Music4Life is enthusiastically supported by school district leaders, the City of Seattle Mayor’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, and other notable music advocates and community leaders.
Gerard Schwarz, world-renowned conductor of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, endorsed the program, saying, “This wonderful program will open doors for children in elementary school, which is at the time of life when, if they are interested and talented in any way, they have the greatest chance of success. Many people tell me of the impact that direct knowledge of music has had on their lives. We intend to give this advantage to all of our children.”