Music Blocks is a non profit in Barrington, IL providing access to the building blocks of music literacy for youth to strengthen the mind, lift the spirit and foster opportunities for creative expression.
We live in a very economically diverse community, where, within the District 220 area, there are multimillion dollar homes and families struggling to afford the basic necessary provisions for their children. Many of these children cannot hope to participate in the extracurricular activities that other Barrington area students enjoy.
To offer private Piano/Keyboard Lessons at no charge or at a significantly reduced rate to students who express and demonstrate a clear desire and ability to study music but lack the financial means to pursue music lessons.
To make music study accessible to all children through a scholarship-based program that allows all students the opportunity to achieve benefits that other more economically advantaged students are able to enjoy through private music lessons.
Music Blocks is currently piloting a piano program to 12 students at Sunny Hill Elementary School. The long term goal is to expand this program, increasing the numbers at Sunny Hill and establishing a program at other schools or after school program facilities. Music Blocks is also looking to make lessons available to individual students who may be able to invest in an inexpensive piano or keyboard at home, but cannot afford the weekly lesson fees. For these students, Music Blocks is structuring a scholarship program to fund all or a portion of the lesson fees, depending on their income level, for lessons offered at various facilities or teacher home studios.
Music Blocks currently relies entirely on grants and charitable donations to fund its programs. 100% of the funds goes to operations and administrative costs. (No portion goes to third party fundraisers.) The funds are used to purchase the fully weighted, full size (88 key) electronic keyboards, stands, benches, headphones (for students who are ready to practice on their own), keyboard storage covers and cabinets, lesson materials and teacher compensation as well as administrative costs, including insurance, facilities rental fees (currently waived by District 220 at Sunny Hill as long as students pay $0 for their lessons) and annual filing fees.
Currently Music Blocks provides one volunteer piano teacher and one compensated piano teacher/ administrator. With the expansion of the program, Music Blocks would like to hire additional qualified and experienced piano teachers at a competitive rate to ensure a quality and successful program. In addition, Music Blocks intends to bring in volunteers (possibly adults and/or high school students who are looking to earn volunteer service hours for National Honor Society and College applications). These volunteers would be assisting qualified teachers by supervising student practice sessions, assisting in the set up/take down of keyboards (which can be quite heavy and difficult to move) and other related activities.