On Nov. 11, VH1 Save the Music finalized a $1 million donation to Indianapolis Public Schools for their elementary school music programs. Thanks to this donation, IPS has been able to put music programs into each of its elementary schools, making it one of only a very few school systems to have instrumental band programs for all of its elementary schools.
The presentation was witnessed by the donation’s beneficiaries: 645 IPS elementary school band students accompanied the Indiana State University Marching Sycamores in the National Anthem to kick off the Sharp Business Systems IPS Marching Band Tournament on the field of Lucas Oil Stadium. The event and tournament are coordinated through Music for All, a local music education partner of IPS and a national music education advocacy partner of VH1 Save the Music. Music for All’s Bands of America Grand National Championship–with 90 high school marching bands from around the country competing–kicked off four days of events with the IPS Marching Band Tournament yesterday evening.
IPS and Music for All have determined that from 2003 to 2008, IPS students involved with Music for All programming have had a 78 percent graduation rate, more than double the IPS average and higher than the national graduation rate. “Clearly, music education makes a marked difference in the lives and futures of young people,” says Music for All CEO Scott McCormick. “VH1 Save the Music has allowed that difference to be made among our youngest musicians, and the involvement of these young students at the IPS Marching Band Tournament will give them a taste of the excitement that awaits them if they stick with music and stick with school.”