KidZNotes is an El Sistema-inspired nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that fights poverty and encourages positive decision making by instructing and engaging children in classical orchestral music. KidZNotes aims to improve children’s musical performance, to develop values that contribute to success at school and in society, and to promote children’s and families’ engagement in program and community activities.
As a collaborator in the East Durham Children’s Initiative, KidZNotes serves children in East Durham’s poorest neighborhoods, where the elementary schools are the lowest-performing in the city. We provide free instruments and music lessons, and we give children hope for the future regardless of their circumstances. By working with local school boards, social organizations, small businesses, and individuals in the community, we strive to reach the maximum number of children. Eventually, we aim to have a system of quality youth orchestras making music across the state. The hard work these children put in and the love they develop for music will open many doors for their futures.
Studies repeatedly find that music training is positively associated with more complex brain development, higher school achievement (e.g., math, reading, SAT scores, graduation rates, etc.), and a host of measures of long-term social, economic and emotional well-being. Second is the value of early intervention: KidZNotes serves elementary school-age kids, utilizing community-based facilities. Research suggests that the earlier the introduction to music, the greater the impact or benefit.
Further, to counter some of the disadvantages that accrue to young children in low-income communities, the opportunity for educational enrichment in a safe and nurturing environment, such as a community recreation center, promises greater readiness for school. KidZNotes works in the community itself, ensuring easy access for both children and interested parents. With frequent performances of small ensembles to combined orchestral groups, children (and their parents) will experience pride and growing self-confidence.
KidZNotes transforms the lives of underserved children through classical, orchestral music training beginning in early childhood to combat poverty, strengthen inner-city education, and foster positive decision-making to unlock the world.
Our vision is to be a catalyst for change that uses music to build a thriving network of children, families, and partners where the passion for music unleashes the human potential to transform lives and communities. The foundation of our vision is our commitment to embrace and value diversity, excellence, and collaboration in our daily lives.
Excellence – in everything that we do
Nurturing – joy and a love of music
Empowerment – of diverse and underserved children, families, and communities
Transformation – of lives and communities
Commitment – to each other and the orchestra
Collaboration – with each other and the world