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Rock Fans Funding Music Lessons

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Funding for music lessons can come from a variety of sources. In many cases, parents invest in lessons for their children, or adult students pay for their own tutelage.

Recently, non-profit groups have begun to flourish, which provide funding intended for private music study. This is an encouraging trend, and one we hope to see continue.

Last month, in Wisconsin, the Civic Music Association (CMA) of Milwaukee received an $8,000 grant from a group of rock fans.

Phish, the celebrated improvisational quartet from Vermont that has been recording and touring since 1984, has a group of fans who are serious about music education. Several years ago, a crew of devoted Phish listeners founded the Mockingbird Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to supplying funding for music education.

955 groups applied for Mockingbird Foundation grants this year, but only a dozen received funding. The CMA, which has been operating in Milwaukee for nearly a century, was one of the fortunate grant recipients this year:

The fact that fans of successful rock and pop bands are wanting to put their philanthropic instincts to use funding private music lessons is an encouraging sign. As many of their favorite musicians benefited from private lessons growing up, it only makes sense to encourage the next generation of composers and instrumentalists by funding music studies.

As for the band Phish, all four members – Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon, Page McConnell, and Jon Fishman – took extensive private lessons on their instruments as kids, and continued their studies on performance and improvisation into the college years.