Blues News

KTBA Donates “Keyboard Corner” to Elementary Music Program

AUSTIN, TX – Thanks to your donations, Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation donated eight (8) brand new student model Alesis Melody 61 MKII Portable Keyboards to Menchaca Elementary School in Austin, TX!

Since 1991, Austin, Texas has been officially referred to as the “Live Music Capital of the World.” This is largely because of two extreme factors. On one hand, Austin boasts more live music venues per capita (over 200 in the area). Over 1,900 bands and performing artists live in and around the city itself. Lastly, as if that wasn’t enough, the city of Austin completely transforms itself to host some of the biggest festivals in the country, including Austin City Limits (ACL), South by Southwest (SXSW), The Urban Music Festival, Fun Fun Fun Fest, the Pachange Festival, and many more!

As Austin continues to grow and thrive for live musicians around the world, Keeping the Blues Alive recognizes the need to foster new talent in the local community. That is why when Ms. Leslie Rubio reached out for assistance in getting her elementary students from a school located just 12 miles from Stubb’s BBQ and legendary Antone’s Nightclub we knew we had to step in!

“I am currently an elementary music school teacher and I have been teaching for 23 years,” Ms. Leslie Rubio explains. “I love to have a variety of things to use with my students so that they are learning music concepts in many different ways. My students love coming to music class and it is my goal to have as many students as possible sign up for music programs when they go to middle school! Teaching music is rewarding and I know how much influence music instruction has on children’s brains!”

In order to fulfill her goals for the music literacy and music theory components of her curriculum, Ms. Rubio needed to have enough keyboards for the classroom so that every student would have the opportunity to learn, practice, and explore the instrument by themselves. Keyboard instruments are extremely approachable and inspiring which means that every student needed a chance to spend time on the instrument without needed to “double up” on a miniature keyboard.

“It [has always been] a challenge in my classroom to have enough working equipment for students to be able to work individually. Replacing equipment like keyboards becomes very expensive very quickly and I am hoping this gets funded so that I can replace some of my keyboards that I have had for over 15 years.”

With the constant evolution in technology, one can imagine the amount of progress a standard keyboard has made during the last five years, let alone 15! There’s practically a new iPhone and a new type of television seemingly every 6 months; one couldn’t fathom the quality of sounds and features that existed  (or did not exist) on Ms. Rubio’s older models!

“Keyboards are an instant way to engage kids and further their music instruction in a very hands-on way.”

Unfortunately, when it comes to funding for music programs, the budgets are too low to justify new instruments. Usually, the money gets allocated to supplies and yearly maintenance tools.  There simply isn’t enough room to allow the budget to be absorbed by a new instrument, or multiple instruments. Additionally, half of these students come from low-income households which limits the amount of fundraising teachers can depend on.

However, thanks to Joe Bonamassa fans and music lovers like you, Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation was able to secure funds to purchase eight (8) brand new Alesis keyboards that Ms. Rubio and her students can use to expand their inventory and provide stronger learning environments for up to 400 students!

Keeping the Blues Alive Foundation is a 501c3 organization that makes a donation to a school in need of music instruments, supplies, sheet music, and more every week! Your donations help us keep music in schools, while preserving blues heritage.

Without your support, we would not be able to reach as many students around the country. We are grateful for your generosity!

As a result, KTBA has reached over 66,000 students across America by sponsoring over 400 various music projects ranging from purchasing new instruments, field trips, guest clinicians, purchasing supplies, and updating music libraries.

If you would like to help us to continue to make an impact on music education in America, click here to make a donation! All donations are fully tax-deductible.

Thank you for supporting music education for the next generation!

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