Carlos Santana‘s Milagro Foundation partnered with the New Hampshire Department of Education, Music Will and Graystone Builders to bring music education to 13 New Hampshire schools.
These collective foundations raised $85,000 for the “New Hampshire Rocks!” statewide program, which aims to expand students’ educational opportunities by allowing them to create, perform and connect through music. Thirty teachers in various New Hampshire districts started receiving curriculum and professional training last Monday (Aug. 31) as the first equipped cohort in Music Will’s modern band pedagogy. Additionally, 13 of those teachers will also receive instruments for their school music programs.
“For me, there is no greater joy than seeing the transformative powers that music can bring to a child. I know firsthand how it changed my life,” Santana said in a video statement. “It gave me a vocabulary and a confidence to know that I am significant, meaningful, and that I can make a difference in the world. That is what Music Will brings to these children – the knowledge that they are all of these things and can touch people’s hearts and make a difference in this world. It is an honor to work with Music Will and celebrate all that they continue to do in this world.”
The first-year cohort of “New Hampshire Rocks!” represents 11 districts across six state counties and accounts for nearly 6,000 students. Participating schools include: Deerfield Community School, Little Harbour Elementary, The Granite State Arts Academy, Seacoast Charter School, Cocheco Academy of the Arts, Manchester Central High School, Wilson Elementary School, Hillside Middle School, John Stark Regional HS, Symonds Elementary School, Hinsdale Middle & High School, Pine Tree Elementary, and Lin-Wood Elementary, Middle & High School.
“Modern band music programs empower teachers to use the music that kids know and love, including rock, pop, R&B, country, and hip-hop, to master music competencies,” said Marcia McCaffrey, New Hampshire Department of Education’s arts consultant. “Through these classes, students gain musical skills that enable them to play together, compose songs together, build community, and express through music their thoughts, ideas, and emotions.”
Watch Santana’s whole message following the launch of “New Hampshire Rocks!” below.