Kids Need Music (www.KidsNeedMusic.org) is dedicated to helping children realize their potential by supporting a well-rounded life experience through music. In Hudson, NY there are dozens of children every year who want to join the school band, but neither their families nor school can afford to buy or rent instruments. 75% of the children live in underprivileged homes of which 15% are homeless. The Hudson City School District has a skilled and enthusiastic teaching staff, and children with the desire and potential to learn. All that's left is to supply the tools!
Beginning 12 years ago, Kids Need Music (KNM) has been raising funds for new instruments, and accepts donations of new and used instruments that are given to the Hudson City School District so that more children can participate in the band. Most instruments are given to children for the 4-6 grade bands. They get to keep these instruments until they graduate high school at which time the instruments are refurbished and given to a new 4th grader. The program has been so successful that over 400 more children in the school district are in the music program. Prior to the Kids Need Music program, about 10% of the children in grades 4-12 were involved in the music program. That percentage is now approximately 40% with a goal to increase to 50-60%. In 2017, so many more children were in the music program that the district created a new music teaching position to handle the growth.
Support from the community has been overwhelming. Generous grants have been received from the Hudson River Bank and Trust Foundation, the Taconic Berkshire Foundation and Stewart's Holiday Fund. Many local businesses have supported the program with donations and advertisements in fund-raiser programs. Spencertown Academy Arts Center (www.spencertownacademy.org) has provided funding via the NY State Council of the Arts to pay professional performers for concerts to raise funds for KNM and has provided free venue space for these concerts. Many professional artists have given generously of their time to produce these fund-raiser concerts.