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How does Save The Music raise money?

Each year, STMF raises funds to support our work from foundations, corporations, individuals and government agencies. To successfully sustain each grant, STMF receives substantial in-kind support from ViacomCBS (the media company that owns VH1), instrument manufacturers, local retailers and other music industry partners. The ASCAP Foundation, through Alfred Publishing, generously provides method books as a complement to our grant packages. Our professional development clinics are supported by instrument manufacturers like KHS America and Conn-Selmer. Check out what you can do on our take action page.

Is Save The Music Foundation the same as VH1 Save The Music? What exactly is the affiliation with VH1?

The Foundation is an independent 501c3 public charity. It was originally founded as a public affairs initiative of VH1, the cable television channel. Today, Save The Music operates at its own nonprofit entity separate from VH1. ViacomCBS (the media company that owns VH1) contributes about 15% of the organization’s overall budget, including in-kind donations that cover the Executive Director of the Foundation, some special event production, office rent and some overhead and travel expenses.

What does Save The Music do?

Save The Music is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids, schools, and communities realize their full potential through the power of making music.

STM works in close coordination with stakeholders across the country, including district leadership, principals, music teachers, researchers, arts education organizations, parents and community members to inform our work. Our work is fueled by strategic partnerships at the local level, and starts with a public school district making a commitment to music education for all students. Specifically, when a partner district commits to hiring certified music teachers and returning music to the regular school day:

1. We provide the capital investment of instruments, technology and other resources to start and build upon the district’s music programs.
2. We support music teachers with professional development, research and classroom content.
3. We continue to advocate for music as a necessary component of every student’s education.

In addition, STM provides ongoing program support, monitoring, research & measurement to grantee schools for at least a 10-year period.

How does Save The Music restore music programs?

We know that restoring a school’s music program or even starting one for the first time takes a lot of effort and support.

We do our research:

We reach out to districts in need. (Most of our partner districts are primarily Title I and underserved.) We reach out to districts who are ready to make a commitment to music education. They are ready to make an investment and hire qualified music teachers. (We require at least one full-time certified music teacher to be in place at each grantee school.) We rely on support from arts coordinators, superintendents, principals and community-based organizations.

We find the funds:

We secure funding from individuals, foundations, government agencies and corporations to fund our work in local communities.

We provide the capital investment:

We donate musical instruments, music stands, method books, and other equipment needed to get an instrumental music program off the ground.

We provide ongoing program support and management for a ten-year period.

See all the districts we’ve granted to on our Impact Map.

Do you want to help restore a music program? Donate now.

Why music?

Research consistently demonstrates that the study of music and exposure to music education at a young age has a profound impact on a child’s development. In particular, music education improves self-discipline skills, early cognitive development, basic math and reading abilities, self-esteem, SAT scores, ability to work in teams, spatial reasoning skills, and school attendance.

What is the history of Save The Music?

The idea to “save the music” was born when one of the original VH1/MTV executives, John Sykes was principal for the day at a New York City public school. John was shocked when he saw how the school’s instruments were being held together with gaffers tape. In response, he helped mobilize a pro-social initiative at VHl, which quickly gained steam as it became apparent that music programs across the country had been eliminated or were at risk. In a short time, VHl Save The Music formed into a 501c3 charity, and began working to restore music education to schools all across the country. For more than 20 years, the Foundation has distinguished itself as a leading force for music education. Working with our partners, including musical instrument manufacturers, school districts, administrators, teachers, community-based organizations, local stakeholders and many talented artists, we have restored comprehensive music education programs in over 2,000 public schools in 257 school districts, improving the lives of more than a million children across the nation.

Learn more about us here.

How can I help?
There are so many ways to help music education and specifically our organization!

Check out our TAKE ACTION page to start thinking of ideas on how to help.

Does Save The Music publish a printed annual report?
Beginning in 2017, we moved to providing our financials, accomplishments and other disclosures on our website.

You can find the following information:

a) The organization’s mission statement: About Us page

b) Summary of the past year’s program service accomplishments: 2017 Accomplishments

c) Members of the board: Meet The Board page

d) All financial information: Financials page

If you have limited Internet access and would like a printed copy of any of this mailed to you, send us a request at:

VH1 Save The Music Foundation

Attn: Julia Hare

P.O. Box 2096

New York, NY 10108-2096