Non-profit needs instruments to launch music mentoring program

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- The sweet sound of success is what teachers hope students will hear thanks to a new music mentoring program.

The program is called Harmony Project Phoenix. The goal is to not only expose kids to music, but also help them with their studies.

The program started in Los Angeles, and it's expanding to two schools in Phoenix, starting in mid-January. 75 kids are already on the waiting list.

“It keeps kids off the streets from the hours of 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. every day, when they are at the highest risk of engaging in dangerous behavior,” said Amy Swietlik with Harmony Project Phoenix.

Harmony Project offers kids music mentoring to help them with social and study skills.

Eight-year-old Rafael Talavera said he's already seen how music can help him in school.

"My brain keeps getting the answers fast," said Talavera.

Abner Michel said he's learned how the dedication of practicing the piano can help with schoolwork.

"I practiced on multiplication, and I started writing faster,” said Michel.

The Harmony Project said since many schools have cut music programs, this music mentoring program can help fill the void.

"A lot of them maintain a general music program, but we are losing our ensembles. And the benefit of ensembles is that they are learning music as a group, and they are learning cooperation with peers, and you develop a much stronger sense of working with others," said Swietlik.

The program includes workshops for the student's family, in partnership with Tanner Community Development Corporation.

"So that they can be engaged they know how to advocate for their students and know how to be a part of building a strong family life and community,” said Robert Young, executive director of Tanner Community Development Corporation.

They plan to work together to help low-income students who may otherwise struggle in school.

"We want to make sure we build a support system,” said Young.

Harmony Project Phoenix is asking for the public's help to get instruments for the 75 kids on the waiting list.

Here are the drop-off locations:

The Music Store
2630 W Baseline Rd
Mesa, AZ 85202


Tanner Community Development Corporation Offices
700 E Jefferson St, suite 200
Phoenix, AZ 85034

Or you can donate money for instruments through here:

Here is some information from their “gofundme” account:

Thanks to a partnership with The Music Store in Mesa, Arizona your donation will go a long way:

- For a $60 donation, you will put a slightly used violin into the hands of a child (purchased from The Music Store's previously rented instruments) [30 needed]

- For a $120 donation, you will put a brand new Knilling Sebastian Model Violin into the hands of a child [10 needed]

- For a $150 donation, you will put a brand new Knilling Sebastian Model Viola into the hands of a child [10 needed]

- For a $250 donation, you will put a brand new Jupiter Flute or Clarinet into the hands of a child [12 needed]

- For a $350 donation, you will put a brand new Knilling Sebastian Model Cello or a Jupiter Trumpet or Trombone into the hands of a child [6 cellos needed, 12 trumpets and trombones needed]

**If we purchase 30 violins at $60 each, The Music Store will donate an additional 18 instruments!**

Donations will be used to purchase instruments first and foremost. If we receive more donations than our goal, the donations will be put towards program costs and teacher stipends.

Harmony Project PHX has tax exempt status as a IRS 501 C (3) non-profit organization. We will recognize your generosity on our website and you will receive a receipt for tax purposes.

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