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Learn how music has the abilities to teach and heal.

Music is a universal tool for learning and engagement. It has the ability to teach, bring back fond memories and even heal.

Since 1988, Walker|West Music Academy, an organization dedicated to providing affordable music education and enrichment rooted in the African-American cultural experience, has been keeping both youth and adults engaged through music, be it singing or learning to play an instrument.

According to the Arts Education Data Project, while 92% of public schools have access to music education, more than 3.6 million students do not.

A disproportionate number of these students without access to arts education are concentrated in major urban or very rural areas where the majority of students are Black, Hispanic or Native American, and at schools with the highest percentage of students eligible for free/reduced-price meals.

Walker|West students range from infants to elderly. There you can learn to play anything on your instrument of choice, from Bach to Beyoncé.

The organization specializes in training students to play by ear. As the Executive Director of Walker|West Braxton Haulcy says, “Just as you teach a child to speak before you teach them to read or write, we want our students to speak on their instruments.”

The organization also has plans to collaborate with Hamline University to help high school juniors and seniors receive college credits. This career development initiative intends to create more career opportunities for Black and Brown youth in digital music production.

Watch our second episode of Corner Conversations with Chris Garner to learn more about what Walker|West is doing to make an impact on the community, and what you can do too.

Inspired to Get Involved?

Here are three ways you can make a difference:

  1. Request or recommend performances for a company event. Music organizations such as Walker|West or School of Rock often offer amazing live music performances covering vast genres, including jazz, rock and classical, to set the tempo for work events.
  2. Listen for yourself. Look for community invitations to join organizations for live and virtual shows. Walker|West has a running calendar of music events from its students and faculty. Show your support by checking them out.
  3. Support local music efforts and organizations. Find ways to support these organizations either by giving financially or finding time to volunteer.

More About Walker|West Music Academy

Walker|West creates a music learning community rooted in the African-American cultural experience, where people of all ages and backgrounds can gather, explore and grow through music.

Visit Walker|West to learn about what the organization has in store.

You can also learn more about other music and arts organizations we fund.

Corner Conversations feature individuals and nonprofits driving change in the East Metro and beyond by highlighting their work in connection to current topics and issues facing our communities and state.

View our first Corner Conversation on the education opportunity gap.

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