A coming-of-age tradition and for the love of music
Jake Fein recently celebrated his bar mitzvah; the Jewish tradition where a boy begins the journey into manhood and accepting all the responsibilities that go with it. At age 13, Jake’s joy of playing music inspired him to ask friends and family to donate to his instrument drive – one where he would collect and later deliver to the charity of his choosing.
For Jake, this is more than just an act of generosity, as music means so much to him that he is compelled to share it with others. “The feeling of being able to make music, at least for me, is one that is very special and frankly, indescribable,” he says. “Music is a gift that everyone should be able to experience and explore, and I want to help expose as many people as I possibly can to the opportunity to enjoy music.”
After having researched various charitable organizations, Jake selected the Fender Music Foundation because of its national reach and its mission to help spread the benefits of music education and therapy to more than 200,000 people.
Jake’s friends and family responded to his call of support and the Foundation graciously received three acoustic guitars, three electric guitars, two violins, two keyboards, and two drum sets. On behalf of everyone at the Foundation, we would like to offer a profound thank you to the Fein family, and most importantly to Jake for his kindness and desire to “Give Music Life”.
Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley
The Boys & Girls Club of West Valley has the mission to inspire and enable all young people, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible, and caring citizens. To meet this challenge it takes a community of volunteers, staff, and charitable organizations such as the Fender Music Foundation to come together for the benefit of children today and tomorrow.
The Club of the West Valley invites children to participate in their core educational, health, sports, arts and the especially popular music programs. Therefore, there is a great need of instruments.
Just as children grow up and move on in life, music instruments have a shelf life and Jan Sobel, the Club’s president and CEO, felt it was time to update their current stock. She applied for a grant through the Foundation and was awarded 2 Fender guitars, 3 Jackson guitars, 2 Toca djembes, 1 amp, and numerous accessories. The kids took quickly to the bright pink Fender Squier Bullet Stratocaster as it became the highlight of the donation.
During the summer, the Club offers a guitar class to kids and music teacher Adam Howe believes the key to success is for all to have fun. He realizes keeping the attention of these youngsters is challenging and if the program can be entertaining and enjoyable, the kids will want to learn and return with enthusiasm.
“My favorite part of teaching are those moments when a student is learning something and struggling for a moment, but pushes through for just those few minutes it takes to learn it,” he says. “And when they get it their faces light up and you can witness their confidence as a person growing in that one instant.”
The guitar class sets the goal of having the kids perform at the end of the summer and Adam says along the way his students develop a sense of “dedication and perseverance.” Not only do his advanced students grow as budding musicians, their teacher takes away something special from the experience as well.
Adam expressed gratitude for the Foundation’s support. When many schools are slashing arts programs from their budgets, it’s good to know some still see the importance music plays in our lives and especially those of children.
Dace’s Rock ‘N’ More Music Academy
When Dace’s Rock ‘N’ More music school in Washington opened its doors back in 2005, its mission was to “provide a positive, uplifting, and inclusive educational experience for all members of the community through private, class, and applied music construction.” Now nearly a decade later and after tutoring hundreds of kids and adults alike, Rock ‘N’ More is not just a school, it’s where those who love music call home.
Beyond individual instruction to the hobbyist or expert musician, Rock ‘N’ More offers lessons for playing with a band and in front of a live audience. This type of instruction has many benefits, such as the group classes help build communication through peer interaction. Also, the team chooses the songs, how to play them and to create melodies, with everyone working towards a common goal.
When Rock ‘N’ More applied for a grant with the Fender Music Foundation, they received eight guitars and various accessories to help broaden their reach within the community and to share the positive and inspiring benefits with which music provides.
Arielle Young, vice president of Rock ‘N’ More, believes with the Foundation’s support, they were able to expand their after-school program and consequently impacting the lives of hundreds of kids in Redmond and Maple Valley. “Because of all the Foundation’s donations, we are able to bring music education to people who, otherwise, wouldn’t be able to afford it,” she says.
Rock ‘N’ More enjoys what they do so much that they’ve donated tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships and tuition assistance to applicants all with the goal of letting the love of music grow without the hurdle of financial limitations.
Highland Park High School
The principal of Highland Park High School in Los Angeles, Enrique Gonzalez, sees the value in incorporating music into the school’s curriculum. He and the teaching staff intend to guide students with their music program to learn music like it’s a “second” language. And like any language which gives a voice to its users, Principal Gonzalez recognizes his students may have something to say, just not the right opportunity. “Many young people today have no way of expressing themselves in a productive manner,” he says.
The Foundation donated 8 Córdoba acoustic guitars to Highland Park High School to help Principal Gonzalez and his students make music in a positive and productive environment. For the high school principal, music is like a compass and today’s youth can use it to find their bearings. “Music matters in that it is the expression of all emotions for a world full of them,” he says. “Our program is a fledgling attempt to fill the void in education today that ignores the vitality that music is… it really matters.”
As a Business Administration major at California Lutheran University, Danica Wolf, came to the Foundation to help promote its mission and success stories, she says. Whether it’s music education or music therapy, she firmly believes in the programs the Foundation supports and how they help the young and old alike. “I want people to realize that there are so many benefits derived from music, rather than just for entertainment purposes,” she says. Danica may be all business when it comes to the craft of social media, however, she finds time to relax by playing pop songs on piano – a love affair which began as early as fourth grade – occasionally composing her own songs.
- California-based artist Elana Joelle Hendler of EJH Brands, an American luxury lifestyle brand, is designing a custom line of music oriented art as part of a commercial co-venture with the Foundation and offering a percentage of the sales proceeds.
- Daryl Brown’s book “Inside the Godfather” has had terrific sales on Amazon and currently ranks #8 on Kindle Store Bestsellers and #27 in the category Books/Ethnic.
- The Foundation received a donation of a Roland electronic drum kit (TDK-11) valued around $1300 – special thank you to Sara Abrams.
- The Foundation is in the developmental stages of a crowdfunding campaign with Bill Montgomery of Drifting with the All-Stars fame. The grand prize will be a once-in-a-lifetime driving experience with professional driver Kevin Madsen in a Lamborghini, and a tour of Jay Leno’s Garage with 5 friends.
- Google has given the Foundation an allowance of $10,000 per month for use with its AdWords program and our social media team is working to maximize the benefit from the advertising exposure and website traffic AdWords can bring.