Ear Candy Productions, Inc.
The MISSION of Ear Candy is to Provide Youth Access to Music Education, with an emphasis on low-income youth. Our goal is to Equip, Empower, and Enlighten youth through music, and our vision is to ensure ALL youth have access to music education.
Ear Candy was founded in 2007 to address shortfalls in funding for music education in Arizona public schools. We have spent the past several years developing and refining innovative, community-driven programs which impact over 15,000 youth annually in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. Those programs are Online Instrument Drives (placing donated instruments in low-income schools) and BackStage Class (enlightening music based field trips).
Instrument Drives is the cornerstone of Ear Candy’s impact in the community. Through Instrument Drives, Ear Candy has collected and placed thousands of refurbished instruments in Phoenix area schools, impacting over 40,000 youth since the program began in 2008. And all the instruments placed stay in with the music programs to impact a new classroom of students every year, compounding the impact annually.
In the past Ear Candy collected donated instruments at Fire Stations spread throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area. Relying on physical donations sites was successful on a local level, but the process was logistically complex, labor intensive, lacked transparency and was geographically constraining. In order to bring the impact of Instrument Drives to all of the youth in Arizona, Ear Candy had an obligation to transform and expand the program.
The solution to maximizing the efficiency and effectiveness of Instrument Drives was achieved by leveraging technology to create an Online Instrument Drive system capable of placing donated instruments in any classroom in the country. Online Instrument Drives achieves this goal by providing a website for music teachers to create a profile and post instrument requests. Instrument donors and financial donors can browse the teacher requests, see pictures of the students, and read about the programs’ needs for instruments.
In this way, Online Instrument Drives empowers both instrument and financial donors to choose the program they would like to support by contributing to the shipping, repair and placement of donated instruments.
To ensure all instruments are in optimal playing condition for the children receiving them, every instrument is shipped (at no cost to the instrument donor) to one centrally locaed repair facility to be assessed, cleaned, and if necessary, repaired. Throughout the request and placement process, Ear Candy collects stories from the teachers, students and donors about the importance of music in their lives. The entire experience is visible in realtime and provides the opportunites for interaction that create meaningful connections between donors and the music programs they support.
Fundraising is built into the Online Instrument Drive process to engage individual donors, corporate sponsors and foundations to help cover the costs of shipping, repair and placement. Corporations and Foundations help by providing a 50% match for repair and placement costs. Music teachers, instrument donors and financial donors are encouraged to use simple tools to share requests and stories with their social networks to raise the necessary funds.
Through Online Instrument Drives, Ear Candy has the ability to place a donated instrument in ANY school in the country. Donated funds can currently be restricted to support music programs in a specific state, city, zip code, school district or school. This ability gives all donors the peace of mind that the funds they donate are being used to directly support music programs they believe in.
Check out Ear Candy Charity online, and get involved in giving an old instrument new life in the hands of a child!!