SOUNDS Academy is a non-profit music education organization that teaches, mentors, and provides musical experiences and opportunities for underserved youth. Students receive individual lessons, group classes, and perform on the violin, viola, cello, guitar, and piano. Instruments are provided to those who cannot afford one. In SOUNDS Academy students learn the character values of creativity, leadership, perseverance, resilience, and teamwork through music education. We teach these 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 community centers, and our SOLO Program, which provides one-on-one instruction.
SOUNDS Academy began our work in September of 2014. We started in a room at Buchanan Music in Mesa, Arizona with 10 students and 1 teacher. These students worked hard and used the community as their stage, performing at places such as The Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Orpheum Theatre, and various festivals in Phoenix. As time progressed, more students began to sign up and get involved. We quickly learned that many more families wanted to participate in instrumental music education opportunities.
In 2020, SOUNDS Academy has grown. We now have 300 students in our School and SOLO Programs. We expose an additional 4,000 students to live performances through our Musical Access Program and our Instrument Petting Zoos. There are now 10 teaching artists that contribute to the mission of SOUNDS Academy.
SOUNDS Academy has given over 35,000 lessons and classes to students in Arizona. Over 19,000 students have been exposed to musical performance or Instrument Petting Zoos through our Musical Access Program. We have given over $145,000 in scholarships for students to take lessons and classes so that they can learn how to play instruments. The greatest impact that we have made is in creating a pathway for students to go to college. 100% of the students who graduate from our SOLO Program now attend a college or university to pursue various degrees such as biology, business, and music education!
SOUNDS Academy has thrived by creating partnerships with over 40 local businesses, foundations, and organizations including The Arizona Commission on the Arts, The Arizona Community Foundation, Arizona Opera, The Armstrong Family Foundation, The Birthday Club, Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture, The Phoenix Symphony, Valley of the Sun United Way, Valley of the Sun Violins, and Virginia G Piper Charitable Trust.
Our mission is to teach, mentor, and provide musical experiences and opportunities to underserved youth. The vision of SOUNDS Academy is to provide music education opportunities to a wide variety of children while removing any barriers that children may have in receiving quality music education.
It is our goal to be able to create tuition free music programs for lower income schools and students who live in lower income neighborhoods. We know that with hard work and continued support from individual and organizations, we will get there.