I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy as we move through these challenging times and navigate these uncharted waters.
When I sent out this annual year-end letter last November, we were proud to report great successes in our organization’s Music Education Advocacy work, and we were looking forward to a 2020 filled with plans for continued success as well as several exciting fundraising events.
Instead, the Spirit of Harmony has had to change many aspects of its work, but the Mission remains the same and stronger than ever: advocating for and helping music programs and organizations connect with the resources they need to be the best they can be.
When schools and programs were shut down in mid-March, a new era of Music Education began. Music cannot be silenced, and exciting new developments in virtual learning offered hope and inspiration to children and educators. The Foundation does its best to keep up with the latest technology, research, webinars, and resources for music programs, organizations, and advocates. We created and continually update a special COVID-19 Resource Page on our website and provide frequent helpful posts on social media.
The Spirit of Harmony continues to work one-on-one with music programs and partners, and we even continue to assist with instrument donations and placements, following strict safety protocols.
Music education in many schools shifted very successfully to an online learning format. But, sadly, schools and districts where there was a very weak or nonexistent music program are providing students with no music education at all as they focus instead on academic subjects they unfortunately deem more critical to youth development.
Our advocacy work is more important than ever to make sure Music Education and the arts are included in every child’s learning experience. The benefits of Music Education impact the social, academic, physical, and economic trajectory of a child’s life, and we continue do everything we can do to get that message out, loud and clear.
The Spirit of Harmony has been very conscious about the issue of fundraising during these difficult times. When making your year-end charitable decisions, first, please be sure that you and your loved ones are taken care of and consider supporting local organizations in great need, but we would also welcome your financial contribution to support the Spirit of Harmony as we continue to adapt and strive to meet the needs of music programs around the country. The Foundation also accepts gifts of stock.
Whether or not a financial donation is possible, consider making a recording for the SOHF Video Advocacy Program by recording a 2-3 minute video message to encourage and inspire young children to continue on their music education journey. This is particularly important as they now often study music alone, without the opportunity of rehearsing with others. Look upon your message as if you were inspiring your own child, niece, or nephew to study music. What would you impart to them, based on your own experience of having music as a part of your life, whether you play an instrument or listen to music. Please check our website for details on this ongoing project.
The Spirit of Harmony Foundation has been given a “Top Rated Nonprofit” award by Great Nonprofits, and the “2020 Platinum Rating” award by GuideStar for nonprofit management. Please be assured that your donation dollars will be used in the best possible way to advocate for music education for children. We are entering our eighth year of service as a non-profit organization, and we thank all of you for your support!
If we all do what we need to do, we can get things back on track so our kids and all of us can return to making music together: wear a mask, practice social distancing, avoid large groups of people, wash your hands!
I truly look forward to seeing all of you again “on the road,” in the brighter days that lie ahead.
Happy Holidays and best wishes
for a joyous and healthy 2021,