Musical Empowerment

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Musical Empowerment is a student-run organization that enriches the musical education of low-income children from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community by providing free, private music lessons taught by UNC undergraduates. Through their work, the team identified a major barrier to music education - the financial burden of purchasing a practice instrument.

Musical Empowerment created an Instrument Lending Program to maximize the number of students able to benefit from musical education. During its residency in the CUBE social innovation incubator, Musical Empowerment is seeking legal assistance incorporating as a non-profit, advice developing a strategic plan, communications/marketing guidance, and help with website design.

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In February 2013, Musical Empowerment launched Global BEATS (Bettering the Environment And Transforming Students). Through Global BEATS, native English-speaking children in Chapel Hill-Carrboro middle schools are paired up with non-native English-speaking children. Together, these pairs will participate in weekly workshops to learn more about music around the world and to better understand each other’s cultures.

In March 2013, Musical Empowerment was the recipient of a $5,000 Strowd Roses grant for general support. The team held an instrument donation and music book drive that same month.

In April 2013, Musical Empowerment was selected to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative University at Washington University in St. Louis, where the team explored the potential for expanding the Musical Empowerment model to universities nationwide.

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Later that month, the team hosted a standing-room only benefit concert featuring performances by Scott Avett, Joe Kwon (UNC '98), and Joe Defiglia of the Grammy-nominated Avett Brothers, as well as UNC a cappella groups, favorite campus bands, and Musical Empowerment students. The benefit sold more than 600 tickets and raised $3,200 for Musical Empowerment's Instrument Lending Program.

2012 MilestonesFile 2829

  • Purchased 15 instruments with CUBE seed capital, adding to 10 already collected during an instrument donation drive 
  • Developed a formal instrument lending contract available in both English and Spanish
  • Collaborated with three classes in UNC-Chapel Hill's School of Journalism and Mass Communication to develop a comprehensive marketing plan, resulting in new logo, tagline, long-range marketing plan, and website design templates
  • JOMC 490 (Mass Media) class organized a benefit concert, drawing a crowd of nearly 700 
  • 20 children participated in a concert showcasing their talents in voice, piano, violin, and guitar 

The Musical Empowerment Team

Watch Musical Empowerment students and teachers at work below!

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Chapel Hill NC 27599-5115
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