Hello Friends,
We hope you're enjoying the late summer and looking forward to fall. 
Pianos for People has just completed a successful season of free Summer Piano Camps at our Cherokee and Ferguson school locations, and we were happy to be able to conduct them in-person once again after last year's camps had to be held online. We kept our class sizes small, but still managed to engage 145 youth at our two school locations as well as outreach at Gene Slay's Girls & Boys Club.
So we have much to be thankful for and, as we look ahead to the fall, much to be excited about, as you'll see in the following news.  We're celebrating new partnerships, new teachers, and some well-deserved recognition for our amazing Piano School Director, Kayia Baker.  On a sadder note we're saying goodbye to three wonderful piano teachers, Hannah Herum, Ryan Coleman and Tre'von Griffith, who are all moving on but will always be part of our family. 
Thank you very much for your continued support. None of this would be possible without your generosity and your belief in the healing power of music. We are honored to have you with us on our journey. 
With gratitude,  

Matt Brinkmann
Executive Director

Fall Piano School Registration Now Open!

Online registration is now open for our Fall piano classes and lessons. Classes begin September 7th at both our Ferguson and Cherokee locations. Group classes will include Beginner Piano, Music Production, Music Therapy and Music Theory.  And new this year, we will offer an Adult Beginner Piano class at both of our school locations!  We will be requiring masks, social distancing, and temperature checks, and will be continuing our rigorous sanitization procedures. We are grateful to be able to continue providing quality music education, especially at this time. 

You can find more class information and the signup application form at the link below.  Please share this information with anyone you know who could benefit from learning how to create music in a fun and supportive environment!


On July 1 we were thrilled to learn that our Piano School Director Kayia Baker was the recipient of a Teaching Artist Fellowship Award from the Jubilation Foundation!  The foundation is based in Olympia, Washington and was founded on the belief that music and movement can promote well-being in the individual and the community. Jubilation Fellowships are unrestricted, no-strings-attached awards to extraordinary teaching artists specializing in music and movement. They give special consideration to those serving under-resourced communities, whose arts practices reflect a commitment to a more just and joyful world. 

Congratulations, Kayia!

Christian Science Monitor Article
Tara Adhikari/The Christian Science Monitor

We were very proud to be featured in a recent article in The Christian Science Monitor under their "People Making a Difference" section. Writer Tara Adhikari captured our mission beautifully, with help from Clara Germani and the journalism students at Principia College. The article was in the August 6 weekly print edition and is available to read on their website at the link below:

Mark your calendar for our 9th Annual Evening of 100 Fingers, Sunday evening, October 17 at the Sheldon Ballroom. This annual celebration showcases our students and features musical performances by a variety of stellar special guests.
Tickets go on sale soon and sponsorship opportunities are available!
Contact us for more information:

New Partnership with Sumner High School

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Last December, a proposal was put forth to close historic Sumner High School in the Ville neighborhood of north St. Louis due to declining enrollment and budget cuts. It would have been a sad end to what is considered the first African-American high school west of the Mississippi River, the alma mater of Tina Turner, Chuck Berry, Arthur Ashe, Grace Bumbry, Robert Guillaume and many other prominent Americans. 

This past March, however, the school won a three-year reprieve, thanks to a new plan that will provide more artistic opportunities for the students, with support from local cultural organizations.  Pianos for People is proud to be part of that effort, joining with other arts organizations such as Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and St. Louis Shakespeare Festival.  We will offer a Beginner Piano class and Intro to Music Production class at the school as part of the new music pathway. School starts August 23!

New Teacher Profiles!

We are happy to welcome several new piano teachers to our roster as we expand our teaching staff!  We are proud to be able to offer a variety of classes based on the diverse skill sets of our team. It is an honor to have them on board with their exceptional expertise. Our students will have a well-rounded group of educators to learn from.

Katarra Parson is a vocalist, pianist, and producer born and raised in St. Louis. After studying music and business at Webster University, Katarra began her career at local open mics, where she blossomed and made a name for herself as a multifaceted performer and artist on the St. Louis music scene. Her impassioned performances with vocals and keys blend jazz, soul, R&B, hip-hop, and classical influences. She self-produced and released her first solo album debut 'Cocoa Voyage' in Nov. 2019. Katarra combines her musical talents with a focus on creative activism and mental health. Her story and music have been covered by numerous local media outlets and have garnered her many musical honors.

Antonio Foster is a piano accompanist, 
bandleader, and musician. In his youth, he was inspired by his grandmother, who was a church pianist, to learn piano. He attended Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, participated in Jazz St. Louis's JazzU program, and studied music at Northern Illinois University. Throughout his career, Foster has played for churches and jazz groups including at Jazz at the Bistro. Today he continues to educate students and perform with many local artists in the St. Louis area.

Eric Anthony started piano study at a young age and has directed and accompanied in several church music ministries since the age of nine. He has a Bachelors in Music from Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University and  Masters in Music from Indiana University.  After serving in the Marine Corps, he returned to St. Louis and acquired his Music Education Certification from UMSL. He has taught piano, vocal music, and AP Music Theory in schools throughout the St. Louis area and has held adjunct positions at Washington University and UMSL. In 2005, Eric began work on a Doctorate of Music Degree at the Conservatory of Music - UMKC. He has also adjudicated for the Missouri Federation of Music Clubs and other competitions/contests. Currently, Eric considers himself retired from working in schools, but not retired from sharing his gift of piano playing and making music!

Recent Piano Donations

We've recently had the pleasure of delivering donated Steinway pianos to two local community organizations doing great work in our city.   In May, we delivered a beautiful Model B grand to the future home of "The Hub", a new community center in the Jeff Vanderlou neighborhood that will be operated by the Tabernacle Community Development Corporation.

And in July we delivered a Steinway upright to the new HW Kia School at Annie Malone Children & Family Services.

We look forward to continuing a relationship with both of these great organizations and helping them put these pianos to good use!


3138 Cherokee Street
St Louis 63118
(314) 285 5852