Who We Are


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 on strings instruments.

What We Provide


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


Students fill out an on-line registration form to be a part of the SOUNDS Academy School Programs or Strings Programs, where they are connected to a teacher in our network. Need-based scholarships are provided for those that need financial assistance.

SOUNDS Academy Programs

School Program: Grades K - 8

Strings Program: Grades K - 12

College Prep: Grades 9 - 12

We work with lower income schools to provide group classes on string instruments. Students learn the fundamentals of instrumental technique and performance. Students perform at least twice a year while in this program. Classes are once a week for 60 minutes.

Students who wish to learn and perform more participate in our strings program. Along with rehearsing with a group, students in this program receive a weekly one-on-one, 30-minute lesson. Students also receive the chance to participate in beginning level youth orchestras.

High-level students participate in youth orchestra rehearsals and receive 60-minute lessons. Along with their regular classes, students are featured in performances and are sent to various seminars and institutions to learn from some of the best performers and instructors throughout the country. Students in this program receive a full scholarship to participate.

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.

Lessons Given

Students Impacted by Musical Access

Total Classes in Schools

Audience Impacted by Community Concerts


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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  • "I am very thankful to be a student of SOUNDS Academy because they allow me to put smiles on the faces of friends and family members when I perform the different songs that I have learned."
    Ms. Rivas; SOUNDS Academy Student
  • "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 SOUNDS Academy because they allow me to learn a lot, teach me how to write my own music, and help prepare me for youth orchestra auditions. They encourage and allow me to be confident and extraordinary."
    Ms. Chávez; 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)
  • "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
  • "SOUNDS Academy allows my child to build confidence and discipline in herself and belief in her musical abilities."
    - Maxine Marshall; SOUNDS Academy Parent

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