Who We Are

SOUNDS Symphony Hall - 106 small SOUNDS Academy is a non-profit music education program whose mission is to teach, mentor, and provide musical experiences and opportunities for underserved youth. We work with individual students and schools to provide access to quality music education.

What We Provide

IMG_1201 small Students receive individual lessons, group classes, and the opportunity to participate in public performances. Students meet musicians through our Musical Access program and instruments are provided through our Instrument Lending program.

How to Apply

IMG_4961 small Students fill out an on-line registration form to be in the SOUNDS Academy Community Program or Strings Program. Students are then connected to a teacher to receive weekly instruction. Need-based scholarships are provided for those that need financial assistance.

SOUNDS Academy Programs

Musical Access: Grades K - 12

Community Program: Grades 3 - 6

Strings Program: Grades K - 12

Our Musical Access Program exposes children to music. Students try out instruments through our Instrument Petting Zoo. We also bring musicians to schools to perform. Students get to ask questions about the musical journeys of the musicians. It is a great inspiration for students to start or continue playing music.

SOUNDS Academy provides weekly group instruction to Title 1 schools. Students learn the fundamental techniques of playing instruments, reading music, playing in a group, and performing. Students perform at least twice a year while in this program. Classes are once a week for 60 minutes.

Our Strings Program is for the child that wants more. Students attend concerts, receive weekly 1-on-1 lessons, and play in chamber music groups (trios, quartets, etc.) or  youth orchestras. Students in this program have gone on to receive scholarships to various summer institutes and colleges.

A few things about SOUNDS Academy

Our Mission

To teach, mentor, and provide musical experiences and opportunities to undeserved youth and Title I schools.

Our Vision

To provide music education opportunities to a wide variety of children as well as remove any barriers children may have in receiving quality music education.

Our Values

We believe in teaching and developing the character traits of creativity, leadership, perseverance, resilience, and teamwork through music education.

Students Impacted by Musical Access

Students Impacted by The Community Program

Lessons Given

Scholarship Dollars Given

The Problems That We Are Solving


Lack of Resources

  • Schools have trouble finding support (curricular, financial, developmental, etc.) for music education programs.
  • Schools and parents have trouble finding instruments, performances opportunities, and other supplemental elements to a holistic music education.
  • Parents have trouble finding affordable music education opportunities for their children.

Sustainability and Availability

  • Schools have trouble finding programs that will stay in their schools and with their students for an extended period of time.
  • Parents have trouble finding a consistent teacher for their children.
  • There are not many music education programs in Phoenix; specifically in the Southern and Western parts of the valley that provide low-cost and no-cost music education for children.

Lack of Structure

  • Schools have trouble finding music programs that teach music as rigorously as Math and English, while keeping the joy factor.
  • Schools have trouble finding a music program that aligns with the mission, values, and core values set for their students.
  • Parents have trouble finding affordable instructors that can progress their children past the rudimentary level.

Learn more about the state of music education and its benefits here.

If you share any of these problems or would like to help us solve these problems, click on one of the following buttons:



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  • "SOUNDS Academy provides a climate, through private lessons and group activities, that enables all students to reach their artistic potential.  SOUNDS academy instructors provide artistic instruction, which enhances student’s academic ability, by providing training that strengthens characters, clarifies judgment and refines sensitivity.  These personal developments are key to academic and career success.  Music and academics work hand in hand to cultivate youth that will greatly enhance our society."
    - Adrienne Henderson-Cole, M. Ed, National Board Certified Teacher
  • "I like playing music because it allows me to step into my own private world. In this world all of stress is relieved. I like to come home from school and practice."
    - Mr. Muñoz; SOUNDS Academy Student
  • "Instruction in the creative arts are integral to the development of children's problem solving, logical reasoning, and self-esteem. SOUNDS Academy fills a deficit in the current US educational system by providing the space to develop these skills."
    - Kirsten Eby MAT, MA, BHT, Expressive Arts Therapist (SOUNDS Academy Board Member)
  • "SOUNDS Academy provides programs for students to broaden their horizons and learn the relationships between music and other subjects like math, science, languages arts, and history."
    - SOUNDS Academy Board Member
  • "SOUNDS Academy taught me how to conquer my fears and put myself out there because you never know what you'll learn about yourself."
    - Ms. Montalbo; Graduate of SOUNDS Academy
  • "The students that SOUNDS Academy have inspired would have never had the opportunity to shine had it not been for SOUNDS Academy. We need to support leaders like Kirk and programs like SOUNDS because his approach works and is creating both short and long term benefits for the youth he selflessly serves!"
    - Nate Anderson; Founder of Ear Candy; West Coast Director of Little Kids Rock

Meet our Team

SOUNDS Academy prides ourselves in providing professional teachers with a high level of education and performance. Our faculty live and teach the values of perseverance, resilience, teamwork, leadership, and creativity through music education and performance. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT US