Charity

Mission Accomplished 2018

Mission Music continued into our 3rd year of operation stronger than the year before and dedicated to eliminating financial barriers to music education. Continually working to make the most out of our small budget, we managed to give out just as many instruments as we did in 2017 with almost 35% less funding. In fact, we are now poised to give out our 100th in44835428_1225382150951477_5717570780670197760_nstrument going into our 4th year! We also made some exciting moves to ensure that Mission Music will be around for years to come.

Mission Music’s main purpose has been to provide free musical instruments to under-served children. However, our work has connected us with many adults struggling financially that can also benefit from the therapeutic values of music. While serving our youth is still our primary function, Mission Music’s Board voted to expand our services to allow us to provide free instruments to Veterans, those in addiction recovery, and more. This keeps in line with our focus on eliminating financial barriers to music education so that everyone has an opportunity to benefit.

2018 brought several exciting new partnerships. We’ve instituDropted “Instrument Drop Sites” which allows donors to make instrument donations to Mission Music at locations convenient to them. Donors can drop instruments at these awesome sponsor sites and rest assured we’ll pick them up and put them to great use. While you’re there, we hope you’ll shop their stores in appreciation of their support. All Things Fun in Berlin, NJ was first to be on board followed by JJ’s Kitchen in Pine Hill, NJ and we are extremely grateful for their support. We look to expand our reach throughout the east coast so if you know a business interested in becoming a Drop Site, contact us today!

It Takes A Village!

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Mission Music Board of Directors:  Chris Natalini, Jasmine Bigler, Zach Greer, Bert Bigler, Kathy Teall, Amanda Halliwell, Rich Olsen, Doreen Greer, Angie Clark

Along with your support, Mission Music depends on our board members to keep things moving.  We saw some exciting changes in our volunteer staff this year! Our Board of Directors has expanded to 9 volunteers dedicated to ensuring Mission Music is here to serve for many years to come. You can see our amazing board members helping out at various fundraising events and spreading the word of our services.   We are very grateful to these fine folks that lend their music and business expertise to our cause!

Mission Music appointed Bert Bigler as our new Vice President in 2018. Bert joined the Board in 2017 and has been an integral part in helping us locate instruments while lending his time and efforts to our fundraising goals. As a lifelong musician, Bert knows the value of music education and has an exciting passion for sharing it. We are truly thrilled that he has accepted this volunteer role and look forward to sharing in the successes he will surely bring to our cause.

 

In August, Mission Music partnered with The 400 Club in Clementon, NJ for our first open mic benefit! The 400 Club is a nonprofit that provides a safe anopen micd friendly atmosphere for those seeking recovery from addiction. We raised over $500 for both causes and brought in some great instrument donations as over a dozen local acts took to the stage! This benefit allowed us to immediately provide 3 children with instruments while spreading the word about addiction recovery.  Our hope is that our open mic benefits can provide a great place for our youth to play on stage while bringing others together for a great cause.  We are excited to continue these events in 2019 and be on the lookout for another soon!

Onward and Upward!

Mission Music is gong into our 4th year in existence stronger than ever and we have some plans to keep it going.  We will be looking to expand our Instrument Drop Sites throughout New Jersey to make it easier for you to donate.  Mission Music will also be looking to host more open mic benefits and setting up at local music events.  We will be looking to our supporters for opportunities to help us spread the word so reach out today if interested!  Lastly but most importantly,  thanks to the generosity of our supporters, Board of Directors, and everyone who has shared in our mission, we should surpass our 100th instrument this year.

Join The Mission

Those that contribute to Mission Music support the arts while giving a gift that lasts a lifetime for underprivileged children. Whether donating used instruments or making financial contributions, every ounce of support goes to improve a child’s life. The cost to repair an instrument starts around $50 and buying new can be $500 or more. The average cost of music lessons can be over $100 a month. To provide 50 instruments a year, Mission Music needs between $5000 – $7500. When supporters join the mission, they see the impacts in parent testimonials. Through the “Mission Accomplished” campaign, donors are able to see pictures of kids receiving their instruments and in some cases, we get to share videos of performances!

Please take this opportunity to make a real difference in a child’s life by helping to eliminate the financial barriers to music education so that every child, no matter their socioeconomic status, has an opportunity to experience its benefits. Your contribution can be the deciding factor if an at-risk underprivileged child is able to enjoy the advantages of learning an instrument. So we invite you to donate today to build a better musical future by joining the mission!

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Charity

Mission Accomplished 2017

In 2017, Mission Music board members all agreed that we needed to focus all of our energy and resources on getting more instruments into the hands of children that need them.  Dedicated to sticking to our mission, we reached more children in 2017 than our previous year, built some amazing partnerships with school systems and charitable foundations, and continued to expand our reach.  With a goal of eliminating financial barriers to music education, Mission Music truly made a difference thanks to the support of music lovers like yourself!

How You Helped!

Your instrument donations and financial contributions helped us bring over 25 free instruments to children that would not have been able to participate in the music programs if not for our help.  Our most popular instruments this year included flutes, clarinets, and saxophones while we served kids throughout all of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  Did you know that Mission Music will serve those in need nationwide?  If it ships, IMG_0760we can assist!

Because of your support, Mission Music was able to provide over 10 instruments to a school in Lawnside, NJ.  This school was renting instruments for their students but due to budget cuts, they were no longer able to provide this service.  Tapping into the instrument donations provided by our supporters, we were able to provide them refurbished flutes, clarinets, snare drums, and more!  If not for the support of folks like you, these students may have missed out on the benefits of music education.  Instead, we are looking forward to attending a concert they have coming up in 2018!

You all showed up in force to support our cause!  2017 brought some awesome fundraising efforts.  2 amazing teens out of North Jersey held a fundraiser and donated over 20 instruments!  Red, Hot, and Blue in Cherry Hill, NJ hosted their Blues Fest to benefit our cause and brought out the kids from School of Rock aIMG_0761long with some amazing blues bands from all over the east coast.  Their weekend raised over $1400 for our cause along with multiple instrument donations!  That Metal Station, an internet radio company, in conjunction with Brothers Grimm hosted a weekend long fundraiser where listeners donated $1 to request a song.  Brothers Grimm even hosted Michael Sweet from Stryper who talked to us about the importance of music.  Together they raised over $400 over that weekend and had a blast doing it!

New Partnerships

Mission Music is very excited about the relationships built in 2017.  The fine folks at Hot IMG_0769Topic Foundation have shared their passion of music with our organization through multiple donations and introductions.  Truly an amazing foundation.  Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit focused on restoring, expanding, and innovating music education in our schools, has opened up some of their resources to Mission Music which includes the Jam Zone instructional videos for kids that can now be found on our website.  Relapse Records, an east coast based record label, has stepped up to join the mission through as well with instrument donations and helping us spread the word.  There were many other individuals and companies that stepped up to support Mission Music in some way this year!  From the venues and bands that hosted events to the individual donors that threw some spare change in our jar, we are extremely grateful for your contributions and dedication to making music education accessible to everyone.

Looking Ahead

We are very excited about 2018 and all the great things in store for our organization and the kids we serve.  Mission Music will be working to spread the word to more school districts which will be key in allowing us to reach those most in need of our services.  Our board is already hard at work planning a Mission Music hosted fundraiser for next summer which will surely be a blast!  Finally, we will be continuing to build new partnerships and hope to deepen our relationships with existing supporters that share our dedication to helping children in need.

Join The Mission

Those that contribute to Mission Music support the arts while giving a gift that lasts a lifetime for underprivileged children.  Whether donating used instruments or making financial contributions, every ounce of support goes to improve a child’s life.  The cost to repair an instrument starts around $50 and buying new can be $500 or more.  The average cost of music lessons can be over $100 a month.  To provide 50 instruments a year, Mission Music needs between $5000 – $7500.  When supporters join the mission, they see the impacts in parent testimonials.  Through the “Mission Accomplished” campaign, donors are able to see pictures of kids receiving their instruments and in some cases, we get to share videos of performances!

Please take this opportunity to make a real difference in a child’s life by helping to eliminate the financial barriers to music education so that every child, no matter their socioeconomic status, has an opportunity to experience its benefits.  Your contribution can be the deciding factor if an at-risk underprivileged child is able to enjoy the advantages of learning an instrument. So we invite you to donate today to build a better musical future by joining the mission!

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http://www.missionmusicnow.org

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Let The Beat Go On!

At an early age I started putting different instruments in front of my son. As a guitarist, of course that was my first choice but it didn’t resonate with him. He got a toy drum set at the age of 3 and was super excited.  While interested in everything, he always went back to beating on the drums.

When he was about 9 I bought him his first “real” drum set. It was a used Tama Rock Star kit I found for a couple hundred bucks and although there was nothing particularly special about it, he was thrilled!  I started teaching him some real basic beats and he was picking them quickly. Mission Music’s cofounder gave him lessons for a few months and instilled some great techniques that he still used today and most likely the rest of his life.

A couple of nice folks at our church knew he had a passion for drums and one Christmas they gave him some used to rototoms to go with his kit. He was literally brought to tears from their generosity and the excitement of playing them. This was actually one of the seeds that sparked the beginning of Mission Music.

In 4th grade, my son started having some pretty serious anxiety issues over school. This quickly grew into severe behavioral problems at home that caused thousands of dollars worth of damage, great frustrations, and utter family turmoil as my wife and I tried to figure out how to help him. Deep down, this was a brilliant, smart, and fun loving kid but something had a hold of him.

Through everything, he ended up grounded a lot. Loss of electronics, tv time, activities with friends, and more. At one point he was left with nothing in his room other than a bed and a dresser. However, one thing I was adamant about was never taking away his drums. He thoroughly enjoyed playing and while some folks may believe in taking away those things as a form of discipline, that thought never crossed my mind.

You see, although playing music is a lot of fun, it also has therapeutic values that are simply amazing.  Whether one is happy, sad, or angry, playing music provides a healthy and safe way to express those feelings that could otherwise cause irreparable harm. Simply put, playing music makes us feel better.

Our son needed an outlet for his emotions that would always be there. At the worst of times, he knew he could go bang on his drums and that’s exactly what he did. After about 15 minutes or so, he would calm down and be able to rationalize much better. Many times he would play for 45 minutes or more and that brief escape from worry or angst was enough to help him through a tough situation.  His emotional processing went from destructive to creative. I think author Hannah Harrington explains it best, ” He took his pain and turned  it into something beautiful”.

Now at 12 years old, he has a pretty decent Gretsch set and continues to amaze me with his progress, both behind and in front of the kit.  I’ve had the thrill and joy of sharing a stage with him. He inspires me daily both as a musician and a father.


While we still have to work at times, his behavior and anxiety issues are a thing of the past.  Is It because we let him play drums?  Not entirely. Did it help? Not a doubt in my mind!

Just like adults, kids needs a safe and positive outlet for their emotions. Music has been just that for me and I’m grateful that it has become the same for my son. It may be tempting to take everything away from a child when times get tough but I encourage everyone to always let the music play on. Music may just be the thing to get them through the storm.

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This is just one reason that Mission Music needs your help.  There are thousands of children that need a musical outlet but simply can’t afford one.  Help us help them by donating a used instrument or by making a tax deductible financial contribution today.  just visit http://www.missionmusicnow.org to join the mission!

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Duct Tape with a Mission


When I was about 14, I had a dear friend from youth group named Bill. Now Bill had multiple guitars that I drooled over even though I never plucked a string in my life. At long last, there came a day that Bill passed along one of his older guitars to me and I was off to the races!

It was a Harmony guitar with a Les Paul style body. This thing weighed a ton and the neck was like playing on sandpaper. One of the biggest memories I have of this guitar is that the pick ups were held in with duct tape. That’s right…DUCT TAPE!


Truth is, it wouldn’t have mattered to me if it was held together with plumbers putty. I just wanted to learn and play. Thanks to Bill’s generosity, I was able to do just that!  It was on this guitar that I would learn how to play Iron Man, how to shape my chords, work on getting that pinky stronger (almost 30 years later and I’m still working on that one!).

After sticking with it for about a year, my folks upgraded me to a new Fender Squire. It was great but that Harmony with the Duct Tape will always hold a special place in my heart.  At the time, I had no idea of the impact those little pieces of Duct Tape would have on me. That guitar and Bill’s act of kindness are some big reasons Mission Music exists today.

While we love Duct Tape here at Mission Music, our hope is that every child eager to learn can get an instrument with out needing it. Giving a used instrument new life and passing it along to a child in need is an amazing feeling….especially when you see the joy on their face!

So next time you recall an old beat up instrument, think about what it may be teaching. Or better yet…what it may be preparing you for!

That Duct Tape may just have a bigger mission than you think!

– Zach Greer, Co-Founder/President

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