This week Paul McCartney and Fidelity Investments announced their partnership to support music education called Music Lives:
When 54 million children went back to school across America this fall, it is likely that 27 million of them found they would not receive adequate music instruction in their classrooms(1). Even though experts have shown that music education dramatically improves performance both in and out of the classroom(2), increases SAT scores by 100 points(3) and keeps kids in school(4), budget cuts have been breaking up marching bands and silencing school choruses from Maine to California(5).
In a major initiative to combat this alarming trend, Fidelity Investments today joined music icon Paul McCartney to launch a new public charity — The Music Lives Foundation — aimed at raising awareness of and critical funding for music education programs in schools.
"As a boy growing up in Liverpool, I was surrounded by music," said Paul McCartney. "That's just the way it was. The problem is that more and more music programs are in danger of being eliminated. That's why I'm proud to join Fidelity in supporting The Music Lives Foundation. After years and years of playing in a band and making a living doing what I love, I can honestly say: Where would I be without music?"
My only problem with all of this is: Will this be another one hit wonder? Remember the Folgers campaign? How about Pepsi Notes? American Express Blue for Music?
Once the hoopla has faded will Fidelity still be there standing with the rest of us to help fight this battle? And just what will they be doing? Donating instruments? Making Grants? How will their efforts differ from the great work of the many organizations that have been involved in this issue for years? Inquiring minds – well, at least one – want to know! Their website and press announcement is unclear.
To be clear – I think it is great that Sir Paul McCartney and Fidelity are adding their voices to those already out there speaking out about music education. Our only hope is these efforts will be long term commitments… not just another flash in the pan one hit wonder like the others that litter the music education landscape.
We have placed call to both Paul McCartney's representatives and Fidelity to help answer these questions. We will share with our readers what we learn!
Full News Release: Paul McCartney and Fidelity Investments Launch ''The Music Lives Foundation''; Music Icon and Investment Leader Team Up To Help Keep Music Education Alive in Schools