What is SOUNDS Academy?

Who We Are

SOUNDS Symphony Hall - 106 small
SOUNDS Academy is a non-profit music education organization that teaches, mentors, and provides musical experiences and opportunities for underserved youth. In SOUNDS Academy students learn the character values of creativity, leadership, perseverance, resilience, and teamwork through music education.

What We Do

IMG_1201 small
We teach character values in our Musical Access Program, which connects students to live music and instruments through our Instrument Petting Zoos, our School Programs for lower income schools , and our SOLO Program, which provides one-on-one instruction. Instruments are provided to those who cannot afford one.

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

School Program: Grades K - 12

SOLO Program: Grades K - 12

The Collective

Our Musical Access Program exposes children to musical experiences through live performances and Instrument Petting Zoos. Through this program, children are inspired to explore music and play instruments. Beyond a live performance, musicians share their stories and speak about the importance of creativity, leadership, perseverance, resilience, teamwork, and higher education.

School Programs provide instrumental instruction in a group setting. Students learn the character values of creativity, leadership, perseverance, resilience, and teamwork through music education. While in the program, students receive instruments, music books, and other materials. Classes teach note reading and the fundamentals of instrument performance through bi-weekly, hour-long classes.

Our SOLO Program provides one-on-one lessons to students. Students receive mentorship to prepare them for auditions and high-level performances. While in the SOLO Program, students receive instruments, music books, and other supplementary materials. It is out of this program that students have received scholarships to play with orchestras and attend college.

The Collective consists of 50 hardworking students who exemplify the character values of creativity, leadership, perseverance, resilience, and teamwork. Students in this program attend concerts, take lessons, play in a chamber ensemble, and take theory classes for 6 hours a week. Additionally, these students perform throughout the valley, using the community as their stage.

A few things about SOUNDS Academy

Our Mission

To teach, mentor, and provide musical experiences and opportunities for underserved youth.

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

SOLO and School Program students receiving instruments & weekly instruction

Scholarship Dollars Given

The Problems 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:




SOUNDS Academy featured video

Click here to hear what our students are doing.










  • "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 has been a great blessing for my children. Ever since they began lessons their love for music has only grown. I hear them practice every day and anxiously wait for their next lesson. I had trouble finding something that my 8 year old would be passionate about. Although she was initially hesitant and reluctant to taking piano lessons, she was quickly won over by the music and her music teacher; Ms. Janie. She now sets piano goals for herself and can't wait to continue learning and growing.
    - Bonnie Verhoeven
  • SOUNDS Academy has taught me not only to become a better performer, but a better person, whose value of character has grown under the nurturing guidance of my teacher.
    - 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
  • "In addition to all the more obvious benefits of music, SOUNDS Academy has given us a chance to talk with our child about patience, responsibility, and what it means to practice every day. The experience goes beyond just learning notes."
    - Ms. Seltzer; SOUNDS Academy Parent
  • "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)

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