Musical instruments and instruction can be expensive; Take Note Colorado is not only taking note of it but also doing something about it.
A statewide initiative launched in 2017 and co-chaired by Governor John Hickenlooper along with Isaac Slade, lead singer of The Fray, Take Note Colorado aims to provide access to musical instruments and musical instruction to all K-12 students in Colorado.
For the 2017-2018 school year, Take Note Colorado chose five school districts to pilot the program. “We met with them, [we] had calls with them, we talked to the administrators, we met with the teachers, [and] we went into some classrooms to really get from them what the lay of the land looks like,” says Karen Radman, Take Note Colorado’s executive director and only paid staff member.
Using the information gathered, Take Note Colorado has allocated funds that it has earned from fundraising events, contributions, and grants to purchase instruments, repair instruments, and train teachers. The organization has partnered with several instrument manufacturers in these endeavors.
In cases where school districts do not have the staff to facilitate music education, Take Note Colorado has reached out to Colorado public libraries that may be able to provide music instruction. “[We want to] see how their work in providing music classes and/or programming [for] teens and elementary school kids could align with the work that we’re trying to do,” Radman explains.
Take Note Colorado wants to accomplish its mission in 10 years, “which is a pretty aggressive goal,” Radman says.