Friends of South Florida Music (FSFM) has had a successful year of outreach in our community, as we work to provide comprehensive and age-appropriate musical-development activities for underserved communities in South Florida. Your support allowed us to make a difference for many during our 2017-18 season.
Our Music FUNdamentals program provided a weekly 30-minute music class for over 150 Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten and First Grade children at both the Frederick Douglass Elementary School and the Key Biscayne K-8 Center during the 2017-18 school year. FSFM provided the musical instruments and instruction, in addition to on-site training for the classroom teachers on how to lead music activities that stimulate learning and enjoyment while enhancing brain development. This educational opportunity was made possible by you, our supporters, and grants from the Key Biscayne Community Foundation, as well as the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners.
Then, as a precursor to 2018 Give Miami Day on November 15, 2018, FSFM celebrated its 1st Annual Benefit Recitals on Saturday, November 4th, and Sunday, November 5th. The weekend began with over 25 musicians performing live at The Fish House on Saturday evening. It was a standing room only environment, as these young musicians shared their gifts, backed up by a live band. FSFM is deeply grateful for the generosity of Bill Galliford (keyboard), John Snider (drums), Rafael Valencia (bass guitar) and Richard Vanderberg (trumpet), to not only offer their talent and time but also their hearts as they mentored the next generation of musicians. Then on Sunday, November 5th, FSFM held an afternoon of music at Christ Congregational Church with 30 young musicians in attendance.
In April 2018, FSFM hosted the 2nd Annual South Florida Music Benefit Concert. More than 1200 individuals attended two shows and enjoyed performances from our enrolled students, from the youngest babies to our accomplished piano students. This event raised over $8,000 in scholarship funding for South Florida Music. Another way FSFM served our community was by caroling for Zoo Lights at Zoo Miami in the Fall of 2017.
FSFM is now preparing to continue to expand our Music FUNdamentals initiative for the 2018-19 school year. Current funding will provide instruction at Frederick Douglass Elementary School, Key Biscayne K-8 Center and Ethel K. Beckford/Richmond PLC. Heartfelt thanks to our supporters and grant awards from the Key Biscayne Community Foundation as well as the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners.
Music has been a part of my life since I was in utero. My mother and father always cultivated a love of music in our home environment as we even sang together every week around the piano. My love for music has extended into my own family. As public school budgets shrink and music education gets reduced or eliminated, FSFM works to fill this critical gap in basic education for our children. With a focus on schools with limited financial or musical resources, we fund and provide basic music education classes for elementary school-aged children. I am honored to serve as the Executive Director of this foundation.
I invite you to join our musical movement, as we help children unlock their fullest potential through music.