Youth Engagement

Music Maker strives to engage youth in traditional music whenever possible. Through performance at schools, hosting youth volunteers, and working with youth-oriented programs, Music Maker ensures that they next generation understands and appreciates their cultural heritage.

Engaging Future Generations

Carolina Friends School and Raleigh Charter School have brought groups of middle and high school students to our offices or recipients’ homes to perform service work many times. Students manufacture CDs, assist staff with mailings to donors and artists, or help with maintenance work at our headquarters or in area artists’ homes.

In the spring of 2009, the Arthur Morgan School of Burnsville, NC brought a group of middle schoolers all the way to Birmingham, AL. They performed yard work and made home repairs for Dr. G.B. Burt and spent an afternoon with Adolphus Bell touring the Civil Rights Museum. Please contact our offices if your school or civic group would like to arrange a service day.

Students from Sustaining Roots Music (SOOTS), a community service group at Raleigh Charter High School, have held numerous service days at the MMRF office and at recipients’ homes. SOOTS raises money for their Medical Mini-Grants throughout the year with an annual benefit concert featuring Music Maker artists, the Fat Tuesday Film Festival to benefit New Orleans musicians, and the annual May Day Cake Bake. In the spring of 2010, SOOTS won a $5,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project; the funds will go toward organizing a Benefit Blues Revue featuring 5+ Piedmont blues musicians and to present more Medical Mini-Grants to aging blues musicians who need help with medicine, utilities and grocery bills.

In 2011, Music Maker partnered with the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble, to bring together the world-renowned youth tappers with the legends of traditional music. Music Maker artists worked directly with students to choreograph performances that were presented to the Chapel Hill community at an evening performance.

Music Maker has also obtained grants to fund performances at North Carolina schools including Carolina Friends School, Orange County Charter School, and Raleigh Charter High School, among others. Through a new partnership with the Jazz Foundation, Music Maker artists will be performing in schools and nursing homes throughout the country each month.

If your community service group or school would like to help keep the blues alive, please email aaron@musicmaker.org or call 919.643.2456.