As many of you know, music works as a creative outlet. Being able to play an instrument can be a distraction during difficult times. It’s through times like these that artists use the creative process as an emotional release, which provides us songs that we connect to again and again.
There is a strong link between children learning an instrument and an increase in critical thinking, reading, compassion and self-expression. In fact, learning to play musical instruments makes young adults more well-rounded individuals because they are learning about history, different cultures, world views, and people. By exposing students to a variety of musical pieces, teachers open up new worlds and ideas to their pupils.
What does this look like in real life? According to The College Board, in 2015, students who took four years of arts and music classes while in high school scored an average of 92 points higher on their SATs than students who took one-half year or less.
Even though solid evidence exists about the importance of music education, many schools do not prioritize funding arts & humanities programs. According to the U.S. Department of Education, more than 1.3 million elementary students today do not receive any music instruction. The same applies for around 800,000 secondary school students.
This means that millions of students cannot pursue their musical interests inside the classroom. For many, school would be the only option for learning music as instruments and lessons can be expensive.
Non-profit organizations like Off the Hook Arts have become vital to the continuance of music education in the United States.
Why give to Off the Hook Arts?
Off the Hook Arts provides low cost and free music education to the community of Fort Collins. The Meadowlark Program provides free music lessons and instruments to students from first to fifth grade for underprivileged students in Fort Collins. This program is currently at Laurel Elementary and Academy of Arts and Knowledge. The Chamber Music Academy, similarly, provides affordable music education programs at Ridgeview Classical. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, online classes are currently being offered.
In the past, Off the Hook Arts raised money for their program by holding two music festivals a year: SummerFest and WinterFest. OtHA invit
ed top musicians from across the globe to come share classical and chamber music performances, collaborate with scientists and creative thinkers to bring the experience of world-class music to new audiences of all ages.
As a result of the covid-19 crisis, this year’s SummerFest was cancelled in the best interest of public health. Without this essential festival fundraiser, OtHA’s academy programs are in jeopardy.
We understand that everyone is going through a challenging time right now. This is a stressful period in our lives and money may be tight. If able, we are asking for donations of any amount to be made to our academy program so that our students, the youth of Fort Collins, can continue to get the music education they need.
$400 sponsors one child’s music education journey in the Meadowlark program for one semester, which provides high quality instruction and a properly sized guitar or violin, free of charge.
At Off the Hook Arts, we make a difference in the lives of our students. Here are what some of our parents, students and teachers have to say:
What I like most about the program is that it makes learning an instrument affordable, which is a blessing. – Rachel, parent.
What I like most about the program is that it teaches kids music and it’s fun! —Lily (10), student.
I believe the Meadowlark program is a great opportunity for elementary students to start an exciting journey towards developing many life skills that can be applied to their future. I believe anytime we start exposing our children to music is the right time. Learning an instrument at this age will help with brain growth and aid all other disciplines they will encounter in life…It is a pleasure and an honor to work with your students and I hope they are learning as much as I am. – Michael S, teacher.
Read the US Department of Education Study about the benefits of music education: https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2012/2012014.pdf