“I had a long-term vision to become a support for music education programs in Atlanta, especially in the schools that are hurting and get little help or attention,” he said. “We want to be a resource to provide instruments, education and grants for music programs of all types.”
“We were getting this off the ground last spring when we got word that the Atlanta school system’s music program was going to get cut, mostly in 18 elementary schools,” said Monroe. “So it was natural that our first programs started there.”
One of the teachers whose job was eliminated, Arthur McClenton, joined Monroe’s team and got in touch with principals at schools where he used to teach. Two elementary schools, West Manor and Bethune, embraced the idea of having teachers come in after hours to lead a band class twice a week. Both programs now have close to 20 participants from third, fourth and fifth grades who are introduced to instruments provided by the foundation. Both the instruments and the lessons are free."
The program is called The Gift of Music and it was born out of the need for music education programs. In Atlanta Public Schools, elementary schools band programs were cut leaving a void. The Gift of Music works to fill those voids. Here at the jsquared music performance center, we will be launching our own program this summer to help continue the work of The Gift of Music Program. Music helps to give kids something to look forward to, an escape from the monotony of every day life. Music helps to expand their imaginations. We applaud the work of the people with The Gift of Music!