FAU Receives ‘Keep the Music Playing’ Grant

FAU Band Camp Summer 2019


By polly burks | 6/5/2020

Florida Atlantic University’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters recently announced that the Department of Music received Impact 100 Palm Beach County’s Arts, Culture and Historic Preservation Grant. The $100,000 grant will be used for “Keep the Music Playing!,” an initiative to provide music lessons for at-risk middle and high school students.

For the past 17 years, FAU has held a summer band camp for elementary-aged, economically-challenged students. Under the direction of Kyle Prescott, D.M.A., director of bands, these kids have come to the Boca Raton campus to learn how to play an instrument with lessons provided by FAU students. The camps have culminated in concerts attended by families, often in awe of how far their children progressed in one week. Up until now, that was the end of FAU’s role in those students’ music lessons, and many were not able to continue instruction as public schools struggle to maintain music programs. With this grant, these lessons will continue for middle and high school students during the upcoming academic year and for summer 2021.

“The transition into middle school and again into high school is a difficult time for students,” said Prescott. “They are being pulled in every direction with social pressures, a new environment and emotional crises, all of which contribute to drawing students out of music programs, and often out of school entirely. Keep the Music Playing will identify these students and give them one-one-one instrument lessons, igniting the love for music our FAU students demonstrate each day.”

Several studies done by the National Education Association have shown that students who have access to the arts tend to have better academic results, better workforce opportunities and more civic engagement. Under the direction of Prescott along with DaLaine Chapman, Ph.D., associate professor of music education, FAU students will work with these aspiring musicians over the course of two years, encouraging them to stay in band, stay in school, and build the skills that will make them into successful students and lifelong artists.

“Part of our mission as a public university is to work with community schools like those targeted in this project and support the educators dedicated to our underserved students in Palm Beach County,” said Michael Horswell, Ph.D., dean of the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters. “We are honored to have been chosen for this grant by this incredible organization.”

Impact 100 Palm Beach County is a women’s charitable organization funding local nonprofit initiatives in southern Palm Beach County. This is the first time that an FAU initiative has been chosen for a $100,000 grant by Impact 100.

“We are looking forward to seeing the many positive aspects of this program come to fruition,” said Chapman. “The effect it will have on our community, as well as the teaching opportunities for our FAU music education students is a win-win!”

For more information about Keep the Music Playing, contact Laurie Carney at lcarney@fau.edu.

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