The Music In Schools Program
Electric Forest’s Music In Schools program has supported local music education since 2012. Each year, thousands of dollars are donated to help keep music part of the curriculum in Michigan public schools.
By donating money and instruments to local school music programs, Electric Forest is bridging the gap between diminishing school budgets and music program resource needs. Since its inception in 2012, Electric Forest’s Music in Schools program has donated $91,000 to local schools to enhance the resources available to their music departments. The Music In Schools program also offers hands-on experiences to music students, including performance opportunities at the festival, as well as on-site mentorship opportunities where students interested in music production “shadow” Electric Forest professionals during the event.
After all, Electric Forest’s home should be a place of musical discovery year-round!
“Electric Forest’s Music in Schools program has added so much value to our school music programs here in Michigan. The opportunity for our students to perform at Electric Forest is incredible in so many ways, and the festival’s support allows us to invest in instruments and equipment that we could not otherwise provide our students. Music is universal, and the opportunity for the students to benefit from such a program is greatly appreciated by me, the students, and this community.”
– Curt Isakson, Shelby High School Director of Bands
TIMELINE OF SUPPORT
In 2012, Shelby High School was able to purchase new percussion instruments and cymbals, and the Montague Schools Music Department was able to grow their musical education budget from $500 to $5500!
The Shelby High School Jazz Band also performed at Electric Forest 2012…
In 2013, Shelby High School used Music in Schools funding to seed a high quality piano lab with 20 pianos and a teacher control system.
“The piano lab has been a dream of mine since I began teaching here. Piano is the basic instrument of music, and teaching basic piano to our music students would make such a difference in their music understanding and love of music.”
– Curt Isakson, Shelby High School Director of Bands
The Shelby High School Marching Tigers also performed at Electric Forest 2013…
In 2014, the Montague Schools Music Department was able to purchase new uniform pieces to keep their marching band looking sharp.
Shelby High School used the Music in Schools donation to purchase new Color Guard Warm-ups and Flags for the Shelby High School Marching Tigers, who were able to march with even more pride!
And the Marching Tigers returned to The Forest…
In 2015, donations to Shelby High School helped with the purchase of new uniforms for their entire marching band, and raised awareness and support for their programs in the local community.
That same year, the Montague Schools Music Department was able to hire another teacher, and they had the largest number of participants in their program in over 10 years.
Additionally, for the first time, Electric Forest’s Music In Schools supported the Arts Council of White Lake by providing grants to local public school students who would like to join their Junior Strings program. Due to budget cuts, stringed instruments are not taught at most local schools, and the Junior Strings program is the community’s answer to keeping strings instruction available to students.
Now a fixture at Electric Forest, the students and alumni of Shelby High marched once again!
In 2016, Shelby High School invested in the students themselves via an Electric Forest Music Enrichment Program for the music students of Shelby. The fund offered scholarships for Shelby High School students who wished to further their musical education in the summer through trips and music camps. Shelby High School hopes in this way, they will not only keep their band program strong through investments in equipment, but also through investments in the students themselves.
The Montague Schools Music Department was able to hire yet another teacher to help assist with their growing band program, which has even more participants than last year! (The largest number of participants in 11 years!)
The Arts Council of White Lake is once again providing grants to local public school students who would like to learn a stringed instrument.
In 2017, donations from The Music In Schools Program helped energize local Michigan public schools music programs. Shelby High School, Montague High School, and Whitehall High School all received support, encouraging their local music programs to grow.
Shelby High School plans to use raised funds on innovative projects, including helping to fund additional uniforms for their growing band numbers, and helping equip their Music Technology Lab with additional features.
Montague High School used donations towards their Choir program for new uniforms, which is the first time the school’s choir program has grown to have a full time choir director in 8 years! They were also able to purchase a tuba to be used for the middle school band program.
Whitehall high school will be using donations to buy new drums for their marching band. This was something that the marching band desperately needed for the past few years, and now they’re finally able to make it happen.
Additionally, the Arts Council of White Lake continues to provide grants to local public school students who are interested in learning a new instrument. White Lake Music Society works to provide opportunities for students to learn to play stringed instruments, since local public schools do not offer this, at no cost to the students. Donations will also contribute to the Community Foundation for Oceana County for future endowment of the David Markiewicz Memorial Fund, supporting purchasing equipment and supplies to impact music programs at local public schools in Oceana County.
In 2018, Electric Forest donated a total of $20,000 to the following Music In Schools recipients: Shelby High School, the David Markiewicz Memorial Foundation Endowment Fund, Montague High School, White Hall High School, and the White Lake Music Society Junior Strings Program.