About

Mission Statement

Soundscapes is a nonprofit, educational, intervention organization that instills transformative life skills in underserved children in our community, using intensive music study and frequent ensemble performances.

Soundscapes is a nonprofit educational and intervention organization that instills transformative life skills in underserved children in our community by using intensive music study and frequent ensemble performances.

In 2009 Soundscapes began developing its model programs at Carver Elementary in Newport News, a Title I school with a minority and poverty demographic of 82%. In 2016-2017 it is serving 400 elementary and middle school children in summer and school term programs in five underperforming public schools; students meet between 128 and 320 hours per year and appear in 25 or more public concerts.

Soundscapes is managed by a board of 13 volunteer community leaders, with 21 employees, interns, and contractors. It is fourth oldest - the first in Virginia - of more than 120 organizations in the U.S. that participate in a global movement using music as a dynamic tool to reshape the lives of needy children.

Scientific assessments reveal that Soundscapes students, over time, adopt positive social behaviors - good self-esteem, concentration, teamwork, improved time management - with better attendance and a major drop in disciplinary actions. As they advance, they demonstrate civic leadership skills, improved test scores, and confidence of success in multiple endeavors.

All programs and instruments are free. Soundscapes relies on corporations, foundations, and individuals for its annual operating budget. Soundscapes is a state Neighborhood Assistance Organization(NAP) certified by the Virginia Department of Education.

The Benefits of Music Study

We continue to learn about the benefits of music study and performance beyond its recognized cultural contribution to society. Soundscapes stands behind the knowledge that a child who participates in music obtains significant neurological benefits. Below is a link to an article that supports music study.

  • Barnes, Tom. "Science Just Discovered Something Amazing About What Childhood Piano Lessons Did to You." Music.Mic. N.P., 8 Jan. 2015. Web.