“You never know where or when you may come across a child with true talent, that you may touch that child’s life and really make a difference."
KEYS Violin Instructor
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“It is truly impressive to see what KEYS has done for our students. Young boys and girls, who would be considered shy at best are now speaking up in class, performing in front of audiences and generally walking about with a new found self worth because of this program.” 
Ron Rapice, Teacher, TAG Program

The Community We Serve

Since it was founded in 2004, KEYS has grown from four students to over five hundred, ranging in age from kindergarten to high school students. Reflecting Bridgeport’s diversity, KEYS students are African American, Hispanic, Asian, African, and Caucasian – and are united in their love of music.

Budget constraints have severely limited music instruction in the curriculum at the Bridgeport schools. The cost of personal music lessons is prohibitive for the families of these children. Over 24% of those under 18 live below the poverty line. The unemployment rate is nearly 10% and the median income, $37,000.  The crime rate is twice as high as the national average.

A variety of studies show that children with music instruction do better in school, achieve higher test scores, and are more likely to stay in school and even attend college. Less than one third of Bridgeport residents are high school graduates. Our hope is that the KEYS music experience will empower and inspire these students to stay in school and study harder. 

The anecdotal evidence that KEYS students benefit from their participation is strong: The classroom teachers tell us that KEYS participants have become happier, more focused and better students while becoming more and more musically proficient.  Class room participation has increased and self-esteem is improving.