About six months ago, after years of seeing first-hand the limitations of traditional music education organizations, I decided to do something unusual for a twenty-four year old with a music degree. I started a non-profit organization; but more important than the organization itself was the conversation I wanted to kickstart. How do we see music education progressing in the age of technology? When less than 25% of public schools in New York City have music classes, what can we do to make music education more accessible? What is the proper place for traditional music pedagogy for the current generation of tech savvy students? The organization I launched earlier this year, Sonic Arts For All (SAFA!), was created to move this conversation forward, and to provide a different style of music classroom to those who may feel left out of the equation.
The SAFA! mission is to provide a fun, yet still rigorous, alternative to the traditional music classroom for the K-12 and special needs students of New York City and beyond. We utilize technology as the key component of our curriculum, providing professional digital music and recording equipment for our students to use at all our workshops, as well as consultation to families on how to utilize the technology found in many homes, such as tablets and PCs, to create music. As of September 2016, SAFA! has held teaching residencies at a variety of locations in NYC, including Powrplnt, NYC Rock Camp, and Brooklyn College Center for Computer Music, as well guest residencies at the Charles River Creative Arts Program and The Conservatory at Highlands in Greater Boston.
As we enter the new academic year, our student numbers continue to grow. Our weekly workshops at Brooklyn College have received local press, and other prominent media outlets such as Vice have highlighted the work we are doing. In order to continue our steady growth as we build new programs throughout NYC and beyond, we depend on tax-deductible contributions from individuals and organizations who share our belief in the untapped creative potential of expanded music technology accessibility for all. With your generosity, we will be able to purchase more equipment and hire more teachers, while keeping out of pocket costs for individuals and families very low. We believe everyone can join in on the digital music making. Join us at Sonic Arts For All!
Founder and Director, Sonic Arts For All!