Bluegrass music is rooted in the Appalachia region of West Virginia where immigrants worked through times of trouble and found solace in their music. Today, rural parts of this culturally rich area are facing the long term effects of increasing poverty as it depletes the schools, wears down families and leaves children empty-handed. In rural Clay County, the music in schools has all but vanished and impoverishment is threatening to destroy the heritage of Bluegrass music for future generations.
There are 5 elementary schools in Clay County with no music programs whatsoever. There is only one music teacher. The county has almost no industry and an extremely high poverty rate. 80% of the children are living at or below the poverty level. Families used to pass down bluegrass music to the younger generations with time together and homemade instruments. However, with many parents working most of the time to feed their families, children have less and less exposure to their musical heritage.
You have the power to make a difference in the lives of these children and directly impact the preservation of their culture while improving the quality of their education. By training their teachers to lead music for learning, you will help them carry on the historical traditions of Appalachian music while also giving them a chance to explore their creative potential. By donating now, you will help revive the music and build success in school through song-based learning in every subject area!
Music imparts hope and healing in times when children's hearts are heavy. The children of Clay County will feel better, learn better and will retain more of what they've learned in class when it's embedded in music they can sing and play everyday. What they learn will help them score higher on standardized testing and can boost their schools' annual progress scores- a real concern. They''ll come to take pride in & preserve their musical heritage while becoming better prepared for the future.