BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Mason Music Foundation is a nonprofit organization in Alabama striving to empower, inspire, and enrich the lives of under-served children in local communities through life changing musical experiences.
The foundation offers music lessons and instruments for a low cost to families in Birmingham. Children in low income communities or who deal with developmental disabilities have the chance to take group music lessons or attend music camps to learn how to create, record and even produce their own music.
“Kids that are in the Birmingham city school district don’t receive music in school. They might get a little bit but it is so very minimal,” Mason Music Foundation executive director Jeanette Hightower explained.
“We put our heads together and started the nonprofit branch which operates like the for profit in the sense that it’s a studio where all these kids are coming and taking piano, voice, drums, guitar, and violin,” Hightower said.
Mason Music Foundation believes that music is important, fun and can make a difference. They believe that people who learn to play music by overcoming hurdles and hard work will have a greater outcome in life.
“It’s just the confidence they gain from having to stand up and sing or play the piano or whatever in front of a big group of people. It takes a lot of self discipline too,” Hightower said.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the foundation was forced to resort to online lessons.
“We lost zero times in transferring onto a virtual platform using zoom for our lessons,” Hightower said.
As the pandemic has caused plenty of struggles, the struggle of online learning has caused a decline in students participating in the program. The foundation has recently had the opportunity to partner with Desert Island Supply Company to provide a new rehearsal space for students. With a new space to teach and learn, Mason Music has now returned to in person lessons at the DISCO facility. They are making great efforts to create a safe environment while still learning the art of music.
Students in the program also have opportunities to earn music scholarships through public grants and private donations.
“Our students can fill out an application and essentially it just asks for household size and income and it’s really based on those two things,” Hightower said. “I would say that most of our students are paying $10 a month.”
Mason Music Foundation has been inspiring children throughout the Birmingham area to pick up an instrument and learn the art of music since 2007.
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