AFE Makes Music Accessible

“Miss, I came to school today to play my trumpet.”

That’s what one of the students participating in the Albany Fund for Education’s pilot after-school “Practice Club” program at Sheridan Prep told his music teacher. This student, said the teacher, had a rocky home life and frequently missed school. But he never wanted to miss the chance to stay after school and make music – and that brought him through the door to learn as well.

Imagine trying to practice the trumpet in a small apartment, while your siblings play video games and your mom is trying to sleep before she has to go to work. Or even in a homeless shelter – as one Practice Club student shared when her teacher announced the program.

We are proud that Albany’s elementary music program reflects all the faces of our district – and that AFE’s Instrument Donation Program helps ensure this by providing high quality instruments (more than 500 to date!) to our schools so that no student is turned away. Still, by the time they reach Albany High, many students from less privileged backgrounds have dropped out of the music program – losing the opportunities for intellectual growth, mentorship, and character development that music provides. Why?

Often, because they lack space to practice, and a supportive adult to encourage them to do so. In response, AFE introduced the Practice Club – where music teachers were paid to stay after school, allowing their students to gain confidence as musicians with the teachers they know.

At the Albany Fund for Education, this is how we operate. We see a need, and we look for innovative ways to address it.

Your support makes this possibleYour donation today will help ensure that all Albany students continue to have equitable access to music and the arts. On behalf of our students, thank you for your generosity!