Save the Music, the 23-year old music education non-profit that has been working to restore music programs in schools since 1997, is launching a new series of Music Industry Masterclass Zoom Calls starting Thursday (Oct. 15) with singer/actress and former Destiny’s Child member Michelle Williams and her manager Jonathan Azu.
The monthly master classes are under the direction of Save the Music’s newly formed music industry advisory board, whose members are tasked with organizing initiatives for students to engage with music industry professionals from all different disciplines with the goal of creating a more inclusive music industry. Thursday’s master class is open to all recipients of Save the Music’s music technology grants, which go to grades 9-12 to help high schoolers prepare for careers in music creation, recording and production.
“We’ve been hearing loud and clear from teachers and students about the need to connect with successful people who come from the same communities they do,” says Henry Donahue, Save the Music’s executive director. “Starting from that feedback, Save the Music board members Elena Diaz and Leslie Fram have assembled a powerful group of music executives committed to the mission of music in every school. Together we can show students that if you have a passion for music and connect that passion to your school experience, there’s a whole universe of potential music industry careers out there.” Save the Music’s grantee base is more than 90 percent students of color, according to the organization.
In addition to Diaz, senior vp, talent & content development, ViacomCBS and Fram, senior vp, music and talent CMT, the advisory board is also led by Wanda Coriano, senior director of music, MTV. Among its other members are Motown Records president Ethiopia Habtemariam, Ebro Darden, global editorial head of hip-hop & R&B, Apple Music; Natalia Nastaskin, GM, Global Music Group United Talent Agency and Malika Quemerais, head of music partnerships, Facebook.
Since its inception, Save the Music has donated more than $60 million worth of new musical instruments, equipment, and technology to 2,201 schools, grades pre-K through 12, in 277 school districts around the country, according to the organization. For more information, go to savethemusic.org.