Research Thursdays - ‘Keep the Music Playing!’ Initiative for Youth

Image: 2019 Summer Band Camp performance

by P Burks | Thursday, Jun 04, 2020

Image: 2019 Summer Band Camp performance

Kyle Prescott DaLaine Chapman

Image: (Left/Right) Kyle Prescott, Professor of Music and Director of Bands; DaLaine Chapman, Associate Professor of Music Education 

$100,000 Grant Awarded From Impact 100 Palm Beach County

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, Professor of Music and Director of Bands, these kids have come to the Boca Raton campus every summer 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 till 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 with middle and high school students from January 2021 through May 2022, including the summer 2021 Band Camp. 

“The transition into middle school and again into high school is a difficult time for students. 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.”

 - Kyle Prescott,  Professor of Music  and Director of Bands

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, working with Associate Professor of Music Education DaLaine Chapman, 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 life-long 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, 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 501c3 nonprofit 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 Palm Beach County. For more information about Impact 100 Palm Beach County, visit

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

 - DaLaine Chapman, Associate Professor of Music Education