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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Charity Navigator's Top 10 Tuesday: Music Charities That Are Hitting The High Notes

Each week Charity Navigator brings you a list of 10 highly-rated charities with a specific focus. Today we’re sharing 10 outstanding charities working to preserve and expand music education and access to the musical arts. These organizations from around the country offer unique opportunities for musicians and music lovers to engage in this craft.

If you believe in the value of music education, consider supporting one of these four-star charities today.

Education Through Music, Inc. (New York)
Promoting and supporting music instruction in disadvantaged schools

Founded in 1991, Education Through Music (ETM) promotes and supports music instruction in disadvantaged schools in order to enhance students' academic performance and general development. ETM forms long-term partnerships with inner-city elementary and middle schools that lack the resources to develop school-wide music programs. We ensure high-quality instruction by hiring qualified music teachers, providing ongoing training, and performing regular program assessments. We encourage academic teachers and music teachers to collaborate so that music can reinforce learning and development in all areas. And we help schools embrace music as a core subject by involving all members of the school community. ETM provides advisory services to organizations and schools around the United States, including ETM-LA, Inc., an organization founded in 2006, which we have licensed to implement our model in Los Angeles.

Chamber Music Northwest
Extraordinary chamber music in a fun and casual atmosphere

Now in its 48th season, Chamber Music Northwest serves more than 100,000 people annually with more than 100 main stage concerts, casual concerts in non-traditional venues, and dozens of free outreach and educational events. CMNW's five-week Summer Festival, week long Winter Festival, and year feature artists that range from rising stars to some of the most sought-after solo, chamber and recording artists in the world. Now in his 38th year as Artistic Director, world-renowned clarinetist and music educator David Shifrin is a highly acclaimed orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber music performer. Artistic Director of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York from 1992 to 2004. CMNW's year-round staff of ten and larger seasonal staff are led by Executive Director Peter J. Bilotta, a 30-year veteran of opera, theater and other nonprofit organizations. With an annual budget of $1.7 million, CMNW has operated under a balanced budget every year since 1980.

Settlement Music School
Providing high quality instruction and activity in music dance, and the related arts

Settlement Music School (Settlement) was founded in 1908 as the music program of the College Settlement in the Southwark section of Philadelphia. Settlement is dedicated to its mission of providing children and adults with the highest quality individual and group instruction and activity in music, dance and the related arts. Settlement provides a wide range of programs for people of all ages, starting with children as young as six months. Settlement Music School is one of the largest community schools of the arts in the United States. With six locations in South, West and Northeast Philadelphia, Germantown, Willow Grove and Camden, New Jersey, the School provides more than 10,000 weekly services to students each year without regard to age, background, ability or economic circumstances, and annually awards over $2 million in financial aid.

Music Academy of the West
Santa Barbara’s renowned classical music school and festival

Founded in 1947, the Music Academy of the West is among the nation's preeminent summer schools and festivals for gifted young classical musicians. The Academy provides these promising musicians with the opportunity for advanced study and frequent performance under the guidance of internationally renowned faculty artists, guest conductors, and soloists. Academy alumni are members of major symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, ensembles, opera companies, and university and conservatory faculties throughout the world. Based in Santa Barbara, the Music Academy of the West presents more than 200 public events annually.

Merit School of Music
Making music… building lives

Merit School of Music provides high-quality music education to students in metropolitan Chicago. Its primary goals are to help young people achieve their full musical potential, to remove economic barriers to participation, and to stimulate personal and educational growth through music. Merit offers a full range of music programming for children, ages newborn to 18 years, including early childhood classes, beginning, intermediate and advanced instrumental and vocal group instruction, private lessons, theory classes, ensembles and musical theatre. Merit's classes are offered at dozens of sites throughout Chicago and Northwest Indiana. This year, the School will reach nearly 5,000 young people throughout Chicagoland.

Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Stimulating and supporting the appreciation, performance, and composition of chamber music

Founded in 1965, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) stimulates and supports the appreciation, performance and composition of chamber music by presenting chamber music concerts; commissioning and performing new chamber music works; sponsoring chamber music performances; sponsoring programs and activities; and acquiring and maintaining collections of material. CMS presents annual series of concerts and educational events for listeners ranging from connoisseurs to chamber music newcomers of all ages. Performing repertoire from over three centuries, and numerous premieres by living composers, CMS offers programs curated to provide listeners a comprehensive perspective on the art of chamber music.

Pasadena Conservatory of Music
A place of study, performance, and collaboration dedicated to teaching traditional and contemporary music

Established in 1984, The Pasadena Conservatory of Music (PCM) is an independent, nonprofit, nationally-accredited community school whose mission is to educate, advocate, inspire, and share through music study and performance. The Conservatory offers a comprehensive curriculum that encompasses traditional and contemporary music for children and adults. More than 1,200 students attend the school annually and over 3,000 students in schools throughout the Pasadena, CA community benefit from its extensive outreach programs. The fundamental purpose of the Pasadena Conservatory of Music (PCM) is to provide opportunities for students of all ages and backgrounds to learn, perform, and enjoy music.

Third Street Music School Settlement
Providing quality education in music and the arts

Third Street Music School Settlement, the nation's oldest community music school, was founded in 1894 by Emilie Wagner, who believed that music could offer the impoverished immigrants of New York's Lower East Side some respite from their daily struggles. Today, more than a century later, Third Street serves more than 3,500 students each year both at the School and through its MILES (Music Instruction on the Lower East Side) Program in the public schools, where it reaches a sizeable immigrant population and hundreds of children who lack affordable options for quality training in the arts. A generous program of tuition assistance, scholarships and program subsidies benefits three-quarters of all students served.

MacPhail Center for Music
Promoting lifelong learning through music

MacPhail Center for Music is a community resource for education and performance experiences in the musical arts. From its inception in 1907, MacPhail Center for Music has grown to become a passionate organization at the forefront of music education and appreciation for the arts, and a leader in music therapy, Suzuki Talent Education, Early Childhood Arts and community partnership programs. During its near-century long history, MacPhail has become a vital part of the fabric of organizations that make the Twin Cities a vibrant arts community and a uniquely wonderful place to live and work. Exceptional instruction for individuals, groups, and ensembles, as well as partnerships with schools and arts organizations enable MacPhail to transform the lives of people of all ages, in the greater Twin Cities area and beyond.

Savannah Music Festival
Celebrating the musical arts

The Savannah Music Festival (SMF) is dedicated to presenting world-class celebrations of the musical arts by creating timeless and adventurous productions that stimulate arts education, foster economic growth, and unite artists and audiences in Savannah. SMF produces a festival each spring (March 24 - April 9, 2016), a year-round local music education program (Musical Explorers), two tuition-free young artist development programs (Swing Central Jazz and Acoustic Music Seminar), free artistic lectures and a national public radio series (Savannah Music Festival LIVE). During the 17-day festival, SMF presents 360 musicians in over 100 musical productions including jazz, country, classical, blues, gospel, bluegrass, rock and a wealth of international music traditions. The 2016 festival projects to reach 40,000 in attendance of all ages and backgrounds. The annual 17-day spring festival is currently Georgia's largest musical arts event, garnering a Georgia Governor's Award in the Arts.

You can use Charity Navigator’s Advanced Search Tool to find even more charities working to expand access to music education across our country.

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