The purpose of Major Chords for Minors is to provide opportunity for youth to explore and cultivate their musical talent through private music instruction and to build a better community through our children.
How we do this:
• By giving free private instruction on piano, guitar, and drums to children
• By creating a safe and friendly environment for children to learn
• By supplying instruments to children for practice
• By maintaining a studio for children to practice, learn and socialize
• By providing supplemental income for local performing musicians and college students
Major Chords for Minors was established on July 14, 2011 with receipt of the IRS Determination Letter, proclaiming Major Chords for Minors a federally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. In October of 2011, Major Chords for Minors' board members conducted orientation for eight children and their families and with two contracted instructors we began teaching. Our purpose was to provide children with free private music lessons on piano and guitar to those whose families could not afford lessons.
One year later, Major Chords for Minors was giving 53 children weekly private instruction on piano, guitar, and drums, with four contracted instructors. In October of 2012 we hosted our first recital at Pit & Balcony Community Theatre and were joined by the friends and family of these students.
In that first year, two all day benefits were held with corporate sponsorships stepping up to match raised funds. Eager to share our mission with the community, we spoke to any organization who would help us to spread the word for financial support and to reach out to potential students. In addition to our fundraisers, we participated in many events across the county and region, including Wonderfest and the Cinco de Mayo Celebration on Ojibway Island, and the Saginaw Bar Association Christmas Party, to name a few.
April of 2013 found us at the Dow Event Center accepting the All Area Arts Award for Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region. We continued our community outreach with students performing at the Free Music Festival in Freeland, Summer Breeze Music Festival in Buena Vista, “Run For Your Life,” Pulse 3 Foundation, Saginaw Community Foundation Volunteer Appreciation Night, Mid-Michigan Children Museum’s “Day with Dad,” among others. Many of these events have now become something we participate in annually.
2014 was a busy year, with 96 weekly students and many performances. Our students were allowed a special opportuntity to perform weekly at a local coffee house's open mic night as well as work with a new performance coach to help students learn to perform together and onstage. Later that year we prepared for a recital of 85 acts, which was held at The Dow Event Center Red Room. We were joined by the students' families, friends as well as many of our donors and volunteers. With our studio continuing to grow, we hired an administrative assistant in November of 2014 and expanded our offices. From there, we began our first choir, "Vocal Chords", in order to provide an opportunity for children on our waiting list to start getting involved with music. The choir attendance rates averaged around 12 students per week.
In the Fall of 2015, Major Chords for Minors moved from it's original location - a 1200 square foot space on the corner of Court and South Mason Street - to REACH, a new community center located at 2138 N. Carolina in the City of Saginaw. We also welcomed a new project called “Major Chords for Mini Minors”, a group based music program for children ages 1-5 with adult accompaniment. With 126 students being instructed individually weekly, over 140 students on the wait list, and four instructors teaching at the same time, the move facilited the expansion of our program and created new opportunities for children to be involved in other programs located within the community center. Our new space was large enough to finally have our student lessons, choir, inventory, library, administrative offices, and Major Chords for Mini Minors all in the same location.
In December of 2015, Pam Fessler of NPR joined us at our studio for a feature story about Major Chords For Minors. Gaining national attention was a big step forward, and we are excited to see what our future holds!
Today, Major Chords for Minors is apporaching it's sixth anniversary. We are currently organizing a program for children ages 5-7 in order to proudly offer music education to children in grades 3-12 and are looking forward to even more to come in the future!