Teachers Say Give a Note Grants Are a “Blessing” for Their Music Programs

In this season of giving thanks, music educators and administrators from 16 schools across the United States say they are grateful for recent grants to their music programs from Give a Note Foundation and 21st Century Fox.


music teacher

Tilden Middle School music students are interviewed by Fox 29 News for the Give a Note grant presentation.


The schools received grants to help their teachers bolster their music programs and reach more students with high-quality music education. Many of these dedicated music teachers often pay for program needs out of their own pockets, so many said the grant money is especially welcomed.

One teacher, Alandra L. Abrams, a music teacher at Tilden Middle School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, says, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Give a Note Foundation for giving us the grant of $3,000 to support our music program at Tilden. It means so much to have others recognize the need to support music in our schools.

“We know that music programs that are sufficiently supplied can and will offer opportunities for students to learn in a different way. We also believe that the experiences the students have in music filters back into their academic education and makes those students better learners. Music also reinforces discipline, collaboration, and social interaction among youth. Students learn to work together and understand the importance of that in order to create a beautiful product, in our case, music,” Abrams says.

“I was blessed to have a Junior High School music teacher, Ms. McCaulka, who took the time to teach me and show me how the love of music could change my life. It not only changed my life, it saved my life. It was what kept me going in my challenging life, and it is with the same fervor that I extend that compassion to my students.

“Money, such as the grant from the Give a Note Foundation, helps me to supply my music program without digging as much into my pocket. My music program has no budget, and this grant is precious to me and greatly appreciated. May you continue to share with other schools and receive the joy, blessing, and smiles that will come your way,” Abrams said.



Alandra L. Abrams accepts the Give a Note check on behalf of the Tilden Middle School Music Program.


Give a Note Foundation was created in 2011 by the leaders of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Give a Note is a separate 501(c)(3) organization that remains affiliated with the association.

NAfME Immediate Past President Nancy E. Ditmer presented grant checks to the two Detroit schools. She says, “Having the opportunity to present Give a Note grants to Chrysler Elementary and Detroit School of Arts was one of the highlights of my professional career. The student performers were spectacular, and the teachers and administrators were so gracious and grateful for the support that it warmed my heart more than words can express. To support these music programs that have so little in terms of financial support but so much in terms of student talent and teacher dedication was a privilege and an honor!”

The partnership between Give a Note and 21st Century Fox commemorated the series finale of the Fox TV series Glee. Give a Note Foundation engages the business community to play a critical role in resource development and awareness raising activities that improve access to music education. This partnership builds on the long-standing relationship between the two organizations.

The 16 schools that received grants for the 2015–16 school year are:

Thomas Jefferson High School Los Angeles, California
Castle Creek Elementary Orlando, Florida
North Atlanta High School Atlanta, Georgia
Benjamin E. Mays High School Atlanta, Georgia
Martha Ruggles School Chicago, Illinois
Chrysler Elementary School Detroit, Michigan
Detroit School of Arts Detroit, Michigan
Richard R. Green Central Park School Minneapolis, Minnesota
Roosevelt High School Minneapolis, Minnesota
Arlee Joint School District #8 Arlee, Montana
University Park Creative Arts School Charlotte, North Carolina
Edward A Reynolds West Side High School New York, New York
Catherine & Count Basie Middle School Jamaica (Queens), New York
Tilden Middle School Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Carter Academy for the Performing Arts Houston, Texas
Totem Falls Elementary Snohomish, Washington


In June, FOX 5 DC anchor Lauren DeMarco announced that schools would receive grants to help their teachers bolster their music programs and reach more students with high-quality music education.

“21st Century Fox, parent company of FOX 5 DC, has a long history of supporting creativity and the arts, with a special focus on developing the next generation of filmmakers, artists, and musicians in our communities.” said DeMarco in her remarks at the June presentation at NAfME’s annual National Assembly.


news anchor

FOX 5 DC anchor Lauren DeMarco announces schools that received grants from 21st Century Fox and Give a Note Foundation. Photo: Documentary Associates, LLC. dacorporatephoto.com.

“We are thrilled to partner with Give a Note Foundation, and to embrace the power of music education—and the work you all do every day—to nurture creativity and truly change students’ lives.”

“This tremendous act of generosity on behalf of 21st Century Fox brings much needed attention and resources to school music programs,” said Give a Note Foundation President and Board Chair Beth Slusher, also President of Rivar’s, Inc. “For many of these schools, these grants will represent their entire school year budget. Give a Note Foundation is proud to work with partners like 21st Century Fox to nurture, grow, and strengthen music education opportunities—every student, every school, every community.”

Other 2015–16 Give a Note grant recipients shared what the funds will mean to their programs:

Adam Brooks, North Atlanta (Georgia) High School Bands, says, “The instrumental music teachers are truly grateful for your generous donation to our programs. We all will be using the allocation for the following items: new music for our Performance Evaluation Season supplemental instruction and master classes supplemental materials (tuners, valve oil, reeds, folders, rosin, etc.). Again, we are truly grateful and indebted to your organization. Thank you for your consideration.”

“I was so excited and humbled upon receiving the news that Chrysler Elementary School was selected to be one of the music grant recipients from the Give a Note Foundation and 21st Century Fox. There are so many resources that will aid and reinforce our music program here at Chrysler School,” says Mona Godbold, the school’s vocal and general music teacher.


“I will be able to have visual aids, technology, classroom rhythmic instruments, a pilot recorder program, educational music-related field trips, and sheet music for concerts for older grades. Due to budget cuts coupled with lack of funding for music education in our district, many of the above enhancements would be nearly impossible to implement. There are some things that teachers alone just can’t personally fund from their own pockets to ensure that their students receive an optimal education. The music grant will allow me to further expose my students to the wonderful gift of music and to have an even more enriched musical experience,” Godbold says.

Matthew Arnold, principal of Richard Green Central Park Elementary School in Minneapolis, says, “We are incredibly honored to be chosen for this grant. We have an excellent music educator [Corina Miller] at Green Central who will use the grant to support the excellent instruction she provides each day to our students. Thank you for including us in this opportunity!”

Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis


“The Jefferson Music Program is proud to have received the 21st Century Fox Grant, on behalf of Give a Note Foundation,” Edgar Torres, Music Director, Thomas Jefferson High School in Los Angeles says. “Funding for the music program at Jefferson has had its many challenges. From travel expenses to day-to-day necessities such as reeds, mouthpieces, books, cleaning supplies, and percussion sticks/mallets, the grant will help ease the purchase of these items. There will now be a few less concerns to worry about in the many facets of the Jefferson music program, and more emphasis can be placed on the students and the music education skills they are learning. Again, the students in the Jefferson Music Program are very thankful of Give a Note Foundation and 21st Century Fox and the support they bring to underserved music programs.”

To learn more about Give a Note Foundation or to donate, visit www.giveanote.org. And this Giving Tuesday — and all year long — please join us in supporting school music programs and help spread the word about Give a Note!

Giving Tuesday

Ronny Lau, Legislative Policy Advisor, Center for Advocacy, Policy, and Constituency Engagement, and Rosalind Fehr, Communications Content Developer, November 25, 2015. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)

Related Blog Posts

See All Posts