Posts Tagged ‘Charyn Harris’

Continued Inspiration: Fender Music Foundation Visits Project MuszEd

October 8, 2010

We always love to have visitors pop in on our programs.  Last week, a very special visitor came in.  Moriah Harris-Rodger, Executive Director of  The Fender Music Foundation (FMF) spent a few hours with us during the first day of our CASM Saturday program.  Through the CASM component, we offer low cost music instruction.  The FMF is responsible for gifting us with much of our equipment. Foundations such as FMF are extremely important, especially to smaller nonprofits such as PM.

Almost everyone in the nonprofit world has felt the shift in the economy.  We expressed to FMF how we have had insurmountable challenges, but are dedicated to seeking solutions that allow us to continue our services.  Our goal is to be able to offer free music instruction and resources as we were able to in the past and to expand the services we provide to more youth and agencies in need.  Even in these tough times, we are proud to say that we have been able to continue serving youth.  We have also looked in out own backyard (literally) and found many treasures that have helped our survival. In the picture above, Danny Villa (pictured above seated first row, right) was a PM student.  Today, Daniel is a college student and one of our most valued instructors.  Through offering low cost music instruction, we can provide Danny and our other instructors with a stipend.  We are so appreciative our instructors and volunteers.

One of our volunteers, Sam Lyons (pictured below second from the left), was my former student.  Today Sam is in high school  and he enthusiastically looks forward to working with us to support our program.  In having to close our office space due to the economy, the program was relocated into my backyard, and it is a huge hit with our parents and students!  We have a studio space that houses our piano and vocal ensemble.  Last year,  HGTV’s hit program ‘Over Your Head’  picked us for a back yard renovation.  Our guitar students sit under our new ‘performance pergola’  (see below) for their lessons.  This is also one of the perks of living in sunny Southern California.  We have very few rainy days, even in the winter.

We encourage other nonprofits to look at their resources, especially in considering means to maintain services and reduce expenses.  Times are lean, and very few foundations have cash on hand for grants.  Have you made a list of areas where you need assistance?  How can you reduce your overhead?  What in-kind services can be donated?  Do you have access to students, agencies or organizations that provide volunteers? Can you charge a small fee for your services to help absorb any overhead costs? Can you become a designated charity of an organization?  Do you have parents that can volunteer their services from time to time? Can you partner with another organization or business for space or resources?

With Project MuszEd, we are always willing to seek  solutions that will ensure we are able to keep our students involved in the joys of music education.  In the meantime, we continue to be inspired by The Fender Music Foundation for recognizing us and the work that we do.  We also applaud FMF for the support they give to make a difference in the lives of thousands of youth annually.  Let’s keep the inspiration rolling!