Two decades after music-downloading service Napster boasted 26 million users, a new campaign from Save The Music is helping tens of millions of American teenagers continue to find comfort, and a future, in music in all new ways.
The new #MusicSaves campaign from the Save The Music Foundation has spread virally on TikTok, earning more than 174.3 million cumulative views through crowdsourced contributions from thousands of music-loving creators. TikTok boasts more than 800 million users worldwide, including an estimated 80 million in the U.S.
Hashtags are categorized a bit differently on TikTok than they are on other platforms; a search for #MusicSaves reveals a curated feed with a description from Save The Music:
“Whether it’s changing lives, or just brightening your day, #MusicSaves,” the passage reads. “So show us how music changed your life, and support Save The Music, an organization dedicated to supporting music education in schools across the country. Learn more by visiting www.savethemusic.org.”
But the #MusicSaves campaign goes well beyond the TikTok partnership. Last month, a set of three J Dilla grants were awarded in the artist’s hometown of Detroit; another set of three SongFarm music tech grants were given to schools in Nashville; Roanoke, Va.; and Sterling, Kans. To date, Save The Music has distributed 10 such grants.
Each grant includes a community-changing amount of music technology, including a full set of studio recording equipment; a sophisticated rig for an instructor; and 15 sets of student producer rigs, complete with 10.2-inch 32 GB iPads — all in a portable case that can be brought to and from school.
In addition to the grants, Save The Music launched a new Music Education Resources hub, described in a press release as “a comprehensive collection of free digital resources and tools to help teachers, students, and parents confidently utilize technology to continue music education, whether in school or at home. Featuring more than 100 music teaching and learning resources from partners, the digital library helps provide guidance for resuming in-school teaching, including new instrument hygiene and ensemble procedures; tools for virtual learning and at-home music activities for families; a collection of virtual concerts and tours; digital lessons for general music, band, choir, orchestra, and sound recording, mixing, and producing; and much more.”
Save The Music is also expanding its monthly Music Education Masterclasses with a specific focus on music technology. Tonight at 5 pm, Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child) and her longtime manager Jonathan Azu will speak with children about all the different professions that are available to them so they can see what type of future beyond the main stage.
The class series is part of Save The Music’s new Music Industry Advisory Board, which launched this month.
“We’re fortunate to have some very powerful music industry leaders on our board,” said Brittany Graham, a spokesperson for Save The Music. “They’ve brought together a talented and diverse set of professionals with the goal of connecting them to our students nationwide. The idea is ‘you can’t be it if you don’t see it.’ If a student loves music and that helps connect them to their schoolwork, there’s an incredible range of potential career pathways out there. Our hope is that we can help create a much more diverse and inclusive pipeline of young people into the business.”