All across America, students in elementary school are given a recorder to develop music literacy at an early age. As a simple, inexpensive instrument that children usually enjoy playing, it is often chosen for a variety of reasons by school districts: it easily fits into small hands, it can be carried with ease, it doesn’t require any developed technical skills, and it can be integrated into a variety of music making activities like singing.
In the midst of education cuts to music and art programs, however, many elementary schools in Miami-Dade County are unable to provide this basic necessity for its students. This prompted FIU School of Music Director, Robert B. Dundas, to reach out to the FIU music fraternities for a possible solution. That was when the Music Forward Project was born.
The Music Forward Project is an initiative to get a recorder into the hands of every elementary school child at a Title I school in Miami-Dade County. Led by FIU’s Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a service-oriented music fraternity dedicated to advancing the cause of music in America, these brothers have established a fundraising goal of $42,250. But they won’t be alone in their efforts. Other FIU music fraternities and sororities such as Sigma Alpa Iota and CNafME have joined this important cause.
“Within Miami-Dade, there are 169 Title I schools that need 100 recorders each,” stated Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia President and Music Education Major David Cardona. “Without these supplementary materials that are essential to their education, they are missing out on foundational experience and lesson necessary to any student with a kin interest in music.”
Music supplier, Conn-Selmer, has offered to sell the instruments at cost.
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Photo caption: David Cardona and members of FIU CNAfME raised $250 for a “Music in Need” Grant for the students from Oak Grove Elementary’s music program during a concert at FIU. The sister’s of Sigma Alpha Iota, Lambda Omicron, matched our donation, totaling the grant to $500.