Letter: A Joyful Night

The Joy of Music School can't begin to express our appreciation for Metro Pulse's generosity. By donating the door receipts from your terrific 20th anniversary celebration last Friday night, you have helped to make a big difference in the lives of our students.

The Joy of Music School is an independent, nonprofit institution that provides free instruments and lessons to kids who wouldn't otherwise be able to afford them. In addition to the 165 students we teach in our building, and the 200 or so we teach in outreach, there are dozens of kids sitting at home waiting, hoping to hear that we've found them a volunteer teacher, an instrument, a way for them to get the music inside them out into the world.

With the kind of support Metro Pulse gave Friday night, The Joy of Music School will be able to match more kids with more teachers, acquire more instruments and plant the seeds for more personal growth and discovery through music. Thanks to you, we have even more momentum to find and connect teachers with kids who have the talent but not the means.

It's especially fitting that this support came from fans of Knoxville's thriving live-music scene. So many people happily paid the $10 cover charge for 20Fest, knowing the School was the beneficiary. While there were a few who balked at first, you could see their faces change when we explained that the School was getting 100 percent of the receipts. Smiles and approving nods emerged as hands reached for wallets and pocketbooks.

Children's lives are changed for the better by the art and discipline of music. But not without a teacher, or an instrument. Talent is randomly distributed. It lands in privileged households as often as struggling ones. We're there to make sure the distribution of opportunity is equitable. The rest—the art, the discipline—will be up to the children and teachers we introduce to one another. Thank you so much for helping to make this a reality.

Francis Graffeo

Executive Director

The Joy of Music School