Music is not just an extra-curricular activity or something that only certain pockets of people should study. Music is a need for all people. Ethnomusicologists have described music as one of the most essential forms of human expression and something that all people need on at least some level.
Music is art. Music is a discipline. Music is story. Music is human expression. I think we can all agree that we need each of these things, and we can benefit from a healthy dose of each, and they are pretty significant in human development, both as individuals, and as a people as a whole, like on a community level. I’d like to sort of unpack why we are here in addressing the needs of at least three different people groups (homeschool families, adults, and public and private school students). In this first post, I will focus on the why in regard to homeschool families.
It all began with the realization of a need in this community. When I did my initial research (in 2013), there were about 1000 registered homeschool students in the Olympia/Lacey/Tumwater area. And that was a while ago, surely there are more now as home schooling continues to rise among people from all demographics for a host of different reasons. Statistically, less than 20% of homeschool students have the opportunity to study music formally outside the home. That’s a pretty tragic number.
We started this academy with just a dream about four years ago, and we are doing quite well now in reaching our way towards 10% of that number from 2013. But we could do so much better. And while we try to keep our rates as low as possible, we also believe that great teachers should be paid well, and we still have to pay the bills. Surely there are many homeschool families out there that simply can’t afford tuition. Just last month we had to say goodbye to a sweet family because of a change in their financial season. They were sad to leave and I so wish we could have offered them scholarships. But unfortunately, we don’t have a scholarship fund to give from today. For that, we need partners and supporters that want to help us on this mission.