Helping Students Be Heard With

Washburn High School Band and Orchestra Director Tim Martin received $600 for his classroom through  We created our Spotlight Funds to support subjects in high-need and areas of particular passion, such as Martin’s commitment to offering music education in schools.

“Music is important, especially at the high school level, because it allows students to have a community within the school,” said Martin. “There’s a connection you make when creating music with others. There are people you become friends with for life in the music classroom.”

Supporting Students Without a Budget

_MG_0426Martin describes his classroom as “controlled chaos.” There are so many moving parts to his ensemble, both literally and figuratively, that Martin is always in need of music supplies to keep his students learning and excelling.

Martin’s classroom doesn’t receive a budget from his school so he spends $300 to $700 of his own money and donations each year purchasing instruments, reeds, music, books, and valve oil essential for teaching music. As long as his students need these tools, Martin says he will continue to provide for them.

“If I was unable to supply my students with the materials they need to function in the classroom, there wouldn’t be a band class,” said Martin. “These kids are worth it for me to spend $300 to $700 of my own money and donations each year.”

Receiving a Helping Hand


Martin spent his recent $600 donation on reeds, fingerboard tape, an electric pencil sharpener, dry-erase markers, and 12 music stands.

His classroom is in desperate need of music stands because many of his current stands are nearly 90 years old. These old stands require tools to adjust, taking time out of every lesson to set them up. They’re also unsteady, making it difficult for students to read sheet music if the stand sways mid-performance.

“The Music Fund impacted my classroom by allowing us to purchase new equipment,” said Martin. “They’re now able to just get their instruments, go to their seats and set up right away.”

Giving a Voice to Those Without

According to a study by the Quaglia Institute for school voice & aspirations, only 40 percent of_MG_0438 students felt like a valued member of their school community. Additionally, only 43 percent of students agree with the statement “adults at this school listen to students’ suggestions.” Classroom community building is important to Martin and he wants his students to know they have a voice that’s heard.

“I want my students to feel like they can have their own voice as far as speaking, but also their own instrumental voice that they feel comfortable playing in front of an audience,” said Martin. allows more students to be heard, so join us in raising a hand for music classrooms. Every child deserves a voice, and you can help them discover theirs by supporting music education.

Give more students a voice by donating to a classroom in need here.