In 2018, the David M. Brooks Music Fund was established at the Charitable Foundation to support the teaching of music in New Hampshire public schools. The fund distributes up to $200,000 annually, and grants are focused on areas of the state with the greatest need.
To better understand the field of youth music education in New Hampshire and identify opportunities to improve it, the Foundation commissioned research by Jeanine Tousignant, a veteran nonprofit leader with expertise in the field of music and music education.
The report from that research identifies opportunities for investment in music education in New Hampshire. It will inform the Brooks fund as well as other funds at the Foundation, and is now publicly available.
“We hope this research will advance efforts to improve music education, and broaden access to music education in places where kids could really benefit from that,” said Simon Delekta, a Senior Program Officer at the Foundation.
The research was conducted statewide and focused in particular on three regions of need: Manchester, Rochester and the North Country.
The report details what is working well — including excellence and dedication among music educators and a strong statewide community of musicians. It also details barriers and opportunities experienced by young people in New Hampshire.
Among the areas of improvement and challenges noted by experts interviewed were: lack of funding and access to quality instruments for students, inequality of opportunity between wealthy and struggling school districts, lack of strings programs in the state, lack of multi-cultural music and of diversity among music teachers, scheduling and transportation barriers and inadequate facilities.