What is Ovation Music Fund?
The Ovation Music Fund 501(c)(3) works with community partners across the USA to help provide low income children under the age of 18 with a premiere music education experience. The children receive weekly private and/or group music lessons at one of our approved after-school music programs. Because music erases socio-economic differences, this experience connects kids from all different backgrounds. If you can play your instrument well, opportunities abound. Our program facilitates scholarships for all levels of skill, based on passion and financial need. Parents tell us that music school has completely transformed their child from being shy and awkward, to being confident, having good friends, learning that hard work (practicing) pays off, and improving academically. For kids with limited prospects, music education can change their entire future.
HISTORY & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
The Ovation Music Fund was founded in 2010 as the Rock School Scholarship Fund (RSSF) – the first 501(c)(3) non-profit to provide scholarship funds and instruments for low income children ages 7 to 17 years of age who wanted to attend any rock music school in the U.S.A. Rock music schools teach kids to play music by teaching them rock n’ roll, with a curriculum that includes Led Zeppelin, The Who, AC/DC, and The Beatles. We started by working with 5 music schools in Southern California helping a handful of kids, and by 2016 we had grown via referrals to working with over 130 rock music schools in 28 states, helping hundreds of children.
In 2013, we developed a Youth Songwriter Program with Carnegie Hall and the Casterbridge Music Development Academy (CDMA) in South Africa. Six U.S. students were selected by judges including Dave Matthews, to fly to White River, Mpumalanga, South Africa and work with mentors there to collaborate with the music students at CMDA. While there, they learned each other’s songs and performed them at a 3 day festival, opening for South African artists like Vusi Mahlasela, The Parlotones, and Watershed.
In 2016, we changed our name to Ovation Music Fund to reflect our expanded mission of supporting music education for young people under the age of 18, in any musical genre.
Our scholarship program saves kids lives. Here is a note from one mom:
“Dear RSSF, I want to thank you for the opportunity that my daughter has been given as it has changed her life. I feel this opportunity enabled her to attain a full ride scholarship to Rochester University in New York to attend college. School of Rock helped her learn discipline, commitment, how to achieve goals and get along with others. Prior to attending the School of Rock, she had gotten expelled from school in the 8th grade and felt hopeless about her future. Now she is an honor student, musician, and has a promising future. She will never forget this opportunity and is excited to give back after attaining her PhD. Thanks Again! Jennifer”
“My son is 15 years old, and was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3 years old. The years that followed that devastating diagnosis have been spent on extensive Therapy Services, Nutrition, and Music. When he was 7, I realized that Music was just the outlet my son needed to help him maintain focus and learn responsibility.
He was so excited about learning music that he taught himself how to play the flute at age eight. He began composing his own music by the age of nine. He became interested in the bass guitar at age twelve, but his new high school did not have a class or band that focused on that instrument. He was able to continue with paid outside lessons until I became unemployed and couldn’t afford them anymore. His grades soon began to reflect his lack of “Musical Therapy.”
The Burbank Music Academy rock program has been such a great experience for my son, and the scholarship came at just the right time. He has regained focus, and motivation to keep his grades up and now has a 3.6 GPA. He has also become more sociable and has met friends who play the guitar and share his same interests. My son’s dream of having a career in the Music Industry is achievable because of this wonderful program. Thank you for renewing my son’s zest for school, art and music….you ROCK!!!!”
–Parent of scholarship student at Burbank Music Academy
“The Rock School Scholarship Fund helped our 8 year-old son, Jesse, find a great creative and social outlet during a very difficult time.
When he was 7, our family fell upon hard economic times and we ended up living in a violent neighborhood. It was a difficult adjustment for all of us, especially our son.
When we found out a rock music program was opening nearby we were overjoyed. Finally Jesse would be able to express his artistic abilities in a nurturing and creative atmosphere. The program offered group lessons and an in-house performance every week. Soon my son was playing full songs on guitar and his singing had improved. Seeing the children playing music together in that environment was truly a beautiful experience.
Unfortunately, the program came to an end because of a lack of funding and low enrollment. We desperately searched for an alternative and Jesse’s former teachers recommended the Rock School Scholarship Fund. Imagine how delighted we were to learn Jesse had been accepted!
Now my son is getting opportunities to play at major venues, attend meet and greets with rock stars, take private lessons, and even participate in studio recordings. Thank you for this wonderful experience!”