This week, seven Boston public elementary schools are recipients of a generous donation consisting of over 900 instruments and accessories, valued at over $500,000. The donation from StubHub, made possible by a partnership with The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, is part of StubHub’s three-year commitment to put over $3 million in music instruments into public school music programs. It also kicks off a community-wide program to enhance the district’s music education program.
“Creating joyful learning environments is a priority at Boston Public Schools. Music education has become an increasingly important part of that mission,” said Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. “We are so grateful to have so many amazing partners, including StubHub and The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, who put these valuable instruments into the hands of our creative and eager students. Support from community partners like the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Zumix make our programs more resourceful and comprehensive, while reinforcing to our students our commitment to the arts, through music education and other artistic mediums.”
“We are thrilled to see our multi-year partnership with The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation continue to benefit public school music programs that need support,” said Akshay Khanna, General Manager of North America for StubHub. “We know that Boston Public Schools has been working to implement stronger music programs over the last few years and we are pleased to be a part of empowering and amplifying these admirable efforts.”
This gift acts as what is known as a “multiplier event,” indicating coordination across multiple organizations focused on strengthening the sustainability of music education through a number of unique partnerships for creative youth development, Boston Public School (BPS) music educators, and the Boston arts community. Partnership support includes:
• The Boston Symphony Orchestra is contributing by providing instrument tutorial videos made by Orchestra musicians to help the students understand how to assemble and care for the new instruments they’re receiving.
• The Community Music Center of Boston and the New England Conservatory of Music (NEC) are providing teaching artists to offer instrument repair workshops from the local music store, Virtuosity Music. Beginning in February, four NEC Teaching Fellows will be placed at three East Boston elementary schools to assist music teachers weekly as they get their students started on their new instruments.
• Zumix will offer future after school instruction and is also building plans to offer the students a vacation music camp in April.
• EdVestors, a non-profit partner, has continuously helped fund the expansion of music education in the region along with professional development for the music educators.
Plus, as part of BPS arts curriculum expansion and the district’s focus on creating culturally and linguistically sustaining practices, students will be utilizing a new band method book, created by the district’s arts program, that embraces a multicultural curriculum.
The instruments, which will benefit more than 5,000 students in their lifespan, are being distributed to the schools and students throughout the winter.
“This instrument donation allows the district to broadly increase sequential band instruction in seven elementary schools where it did not previously exist,” said Anthony Beatrice, BPS Executive Director for the Arts. “The music educators have been meeting since summer to plan for both the implementation of the new band programs as well as a long-term strategic vision for the East Boston region.”
“StubHub and The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation have made an incredible investment in the Boston Public Schools music department! As a nationally recognized creative youth development center, ZUMIX is excited to partner with BPS to ensure all students have access to high quality music education. We look forward to building a music pipeline from elementary school to college, and to making Boston one of the most musical cities in the country! It will take a village to make this vision possible, and ZUMIX is proud to be part of the team!,” said Madeleine Steczynski, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Zumix.
“We’re thrilled to have our Boston Symphony Orchestra musicians collaborate with these wonderful music educators and students through the BPS/BSO partnership. There’s nothing quite as exciting as picking up an instrument for the first time, so having the opportunity to help bring that experience to life for young people in our community is an honor! We look forward to hearing these young artists in the years to come, both in their classrooms and at Symphony Hall, where they have recently performed with the Boston Pops,” said Mark Volpe, Eunice and Julian Cohen President and Chief Executive Officer, Boston Symphony Orchestra.
“New England Conservatory’s Community Performances and Partnerships Program is thrilled to broaden its long-standing partnership with Boston Public Schools as we contribute to the launch of this program,” said Tanya Maggi, Dean of Community Engagement and Professional Studies for NEC. “We look forward to supporting this project and its enhancement of critical access to music education for young learners in the Boston Public Schools,” added Grace Allendorf, Associate Director of Community Performances and Partnerships for NEC.
“EdVestors is honored to serve as the lead partner of the collective effort to expand equitable access to quality, sequential arts for all BPS students, known as BPS Arts Expansion. We are pleased to have so many of our arts partners involved in this instrumental music effort building on more than a decade of work, and are grateful to StubHub and Mr. Holland’s Opus for their generous investment in our young people,” said Marinell Rousmaniere, EdVestors President and CEO.
Music education is a core part of StubHub’s social impact mission. In 2018, StubHub made a three-year commitment to put $3 million in music instruments into public school music programs from the StubHub Foundation, in partnership with The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. Adding to a 2015 program that initially put $2M in musical instruments into over 50 public schools across the United States, this commitment brings StubHub’s total giving to a total of $5M in instruments over the last five years.
Selected school districts are chosen collaboratively between MHOF and StubHub, with awarded schools chosen by MHOF through its established selection criteria. Interested schools are invited to inquire directly through MHOF. To learn more, visit www.stubhub.com/giving-back. Music education is seeing dwindling public and private support, with low-income school students receiving the least amount of local government funding, according to the National Center for Education. Research from The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation shows that schools with music programs have an estimated 90 percent graduation rate and 93 percent attendance rate compared to schools without music education, which average 72 percent for graduation and 85 percent in attendance.