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Music Unites: Empowering, Inspiring and Uniting NYC High School Students Through the Power of Music

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The arts and music education is always the first to go during budget cuts. As cutbacks continue, there is a greater need for music non-profit organizations like Music Unites, which transforms inner-city landscapes by empowering urban youth through music by providing services in the schools to help create and fund free after-school programs in underserved communities.

With March being "Music in Schools" month, take action and do something about it. Last year, despite the President's Committee on Arts and Humanities releasing a report urging educators to reinvest in arts education, budgets were still facing cuts. Make a difference in your community and we'll be one step closer to providing equal opportunity for our next generation. Music directly impacts a child's overall education by improved test scores and keeps kids in school. Regardless of age, race, gender, or ethnicity, music has the ability to transcend barriers between people and effect positive social change. An investment in music education is an investment in both our children and our society.

Our goal is to sustain and enrich music education in our hometown where so many education budget cuts are continuing to spread. We are proud to partner for the last three years with Young Audiences New York to fund the YANY Music Unites Youth Choir, a diverse ensemble made up of public high school students from across New York City. The mission of the choir is to provide free, professional level vocal music training and performance opportunities for students of all abilities and experience from NYC public high schools. On Tuesday, March 13, the students will be performing at Michael Dorf's The Music of The Rolling Stones benefit tribute concert at Carnegie Hall, alongside TV On The Radio.

As we celebrate our third anniversary, Music Unites wants to replicate this signature program and impact more students in addition to directly working in the schools across the five boroughs to impact local communities with the Five Borough Music Unites Youth Choir campaign.

We are working towards transforming inner city landscapes by empowering urban youth through music. We teach kids the fundamentals of music along with mentoring panels of industry executives and artists inspiring and uplifting the children of our inner-city schools to gain new perspectives and motivation to stay in school and succeed and hopefully turning them onto mentors and a professional career.

Due to the generous support from partners like Rolling Stone magazine, the charity created its first pilot program at the Women's Academy of Excellence in the Bronx in January, which was the school's first ever music program. Music Unites not only funded the program but also helped craft it from the initial programming to helping bring in teacher support.

Dr. Arnette Crocker, Principal of the Women's Academy of Excellence has said, "Since our introduction to Music Unites in 2010, Music Unites has worked diligently to provide the scholars of the Women's Academy of Excellence High School in the Bronx with a music program. Our school has never had a credible music program, even though a music credit is required in order for a scholar to graduate under New York State guidelines. We are proud and excited to be the first school in Music Unites Youth Choir five borough initiative."

Through Rolling Stone magazine's continual support, Music Unites has been able to bring to life its first two Music Unites Youth Choir programs and the next Music Unites Youth Choir that is slated to kick off this fall in Queens with Music Unites artist ambassador Gabe Saporta from Cobra Starship. As part of the Music Unites Rolling Stone In Tune benefit concert series, artists like Fiery Furnaces, Taylor Momsen, The Sheepdogs and Gary Clark Jr. have participated in benefit concerts to raise awareness for the importance of music education. The proceeds raised go to creating free after-school programs in inner city public high schools.

Become part of the Music Unites movement and help us build and set the path for the next generation of musicians through the power of music. Start today. Start this month. Music empowers, music inspires, Music Unites US all.

Follow us @music_unites and find us on Facebook. We're even on Instagram @music_unites