Help SLAM! Provide Music to LA Youth

It has been shown that music fosters individuality, creativity, and a deep sense of fulfillment in young people and, as such, should be an essential part of our education system. Yet budget cuts in California have reduced the availability of music instruction in schools. In the last five years alone, Los Angeles Unified School District has cut arts education funding by 76%, and many schools have been left without resources to provide quality and affordable arts instruction for their students. Data from the 2012-2013 school year shows that more than 50% of high school students across Los Angeles County are not receiving any music instruction throughout all four years of high school. These ‘solutions’ to budget cuts deny our students a holistic educational experience and youth ultimately miss out on important platforms for creativity and self-expression.

SLAM! Program Los Angeles (, a project of Community Partners, seeks to address these challenges by engaging a network of passionate college student volunteers to teach after-school music classes in underserved public high schools, filling the critical voids left by underfunded or nonexistent music programs. Through accessible, engaging, and tuition-free instruction, SLAM! develops instrumental skills, theoretical expertise, and musical camaraderie among young people. Each SLAM! college volunteer dedicates four hours a week to teaching a music class at an assigned high school — classes offered include Piano, Guitar, Percussion, Songwriting, Voice, and Rock Band.

SLAM! was founded in 2011 with a vision of bringing quality and affordable music instruction back into Los Angeles schools. What started out two years ago as a small pilot program at one public high school with a group of five passionate college student volunteers, has now rapidly grown into an expanding network of over fifty UCLA and USC SLAM! Volunteers offering music instruction at several high schools throughout Los Angeles County. These college students have contributed upwards of 5,000 hours of volunteer work to date and have opened the doors to music instruction to over 200 high school students.

SLAM! has just launched an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign to raise $15,000 to serve even more universities and high schools! Check out their campaign page to make a donation and share by e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter to help spread the word – SLAM! Campaign Page.

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