What We Do

How It Works

Underserved children are paired with college volunteers for free music lessons, 1 on 1 mentorship and instruments at no cost.

25% of NC students live in poverty with little to no access to music education

1-on-1 music lessons

Musical Empowerment bridges that gap, through free 1-on-1 music lessons, pairing college volunteers and underserved children together to nurture meaningful relationships.

Low-income students involved in the arts are 5 times more likely to graduate HS, twice as likely to graduate college.

Instrument Loans

Musical Empowerment loans free instruments for every student in need. After three years in the program, the student owns the instrument.

Why Music Mentorship?

Musical Empowerment is mutual empowerment

By sharing the gift of music and by using positive reinforcement, college students become role models who nurture pride and instill self-confidence in their mentees. This relationship is mutually beneficial for both teachers and children enrolled in the program. Kids learn how to play an instrument, read music, and perform, through which they learn the value of becoming a contributing member of their local community and develop discipline, responsibility, patience and confidence. Teachers learn how to develop a curriculum for effective music lessons, how to communicate with children and parents, how to be encouraging and supportive mentors, and how to actively enable their students to succeed.

Music + Mentorship =
Musical Empowerment


The schools that produced the highest academic achievement in the United States today are spending 20% to 30% of the day on the arts, with special emphasis on music. – International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement

“Neuroscience research shows children involved in music have larger growth of neural activity than people not in music training.”

– Dr. Eric Rasmussen, chair of the Early Childhood Music Department at the Peabody Preparatory of The Johns Hopkins University

A study of 7,500 university students revealed that music majors scored the highest reading scores among all majors including English, biology, chemistry and math. – The Case for Music in the Schools, Phi Delta Kappa


Mentors help to build young people’s character and confidence, expand their universe, and navigate a path to success. – Harvard School of Public Health

1 in 3 kids don’t have a mentor or adult to turn to

Kids with a mentor are:

  • 55% more likely to attend college
  • 78% more likely to volunteer
  • 130% more likely to lead others
  • 42% less likely to do drugs


Providing free music lessons & mentorship since 2002

We prioritize children from marginalized communities and the families we serve:

free/reduced lunch
people of color
Nearly 300 pairs each year