Mission: KEYS’s mission is to bring one-to-one instrument lessons and group music instruction to under-served inner-city children in Bridgeport, CT who have no other access to this empowering life experience.
Vision: To create a musical community of children in Bridgeport by
providing music lessons, performance opportunities,
and orchestral experiences to as many public school children in Bridgeport as possible.
Through music, KEYS provides mentors, role models and teachers, and a means for its students to develop intellectually, culturally, socially, and to have a reason to stay in school.
Dedicated to providing quality music instruction
From literacy preparation and academic achievement to performance ability and
community building, music is about education. Music may be the reason a child
stays in school. It teaches children how to excel and helps prepare them to be
productive citizens. Music instruction should be a part of every child’s education.
All children deserve this opportunity. Studies show that music instruction
enhances academic achievement, develops important skills like goal-setting and
organization, and builds self-esteem, qualities essential to breaking out of the
cycle of poverty.
Education without music is incomplete
In spite of the vital role music plays in education, Bridgeport’s public school
children are deprived of a meaningful musical experience because of budget
constraints. Even though it lies in the heart of affluent Fairfield County,
Bridgeport schools have some of Connecticut’s poorest performing schools, so
Bridgeport school children start out behind the curve. They attend inadequate
schools in a state with the country’s worst academic achievement gap,
frequently living at or below the poverty line so parents are unable to provide
music lessons, let alone instruments. Many live in single parent homes and
survive in communities where crime is over twice the national average.
Four kids in a hallway
Rob Silvan, a musician with over 35 years of experience, started teaching four
Bridgeport children at Columbus School in 2004. The school lacked a piano and
music room, so he taught his students in a hallway on a keyboard he provided.
The demand by other children for music lessons was immediate. Today, KEYS
is working to meet this demand. A team of experienced professional music
instructors, supported by excellent volunteers, give over 175 children free
private lessons in cello, piano, violin, and classical guitar, and give another 200
children free group music lessons at 12 Bridgeport schools.
KEYS needs you!
KEYS, a 501(c)(3) organization, receives no government funding and relies
on donations, foundation grants and volunteers. The vast majority of each dollar
goes straight to music programs because KEYS has no building to maintain
and keeps its administrative costs low. To continue to grow and reach more
students, KEYS needs funding for teachers, instruments, transportation, and
workshops. We need volunteers to work with children and to host fundraising