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Bach to School: WFMT's School Music Donation Program
Why the Program Exists
WFMT’s Bach to School Music Donation Program brings large sets of classical music by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and many other composers to school libraries and classrooms. This is made possible through the generosity of WFMT Encore Society members during WFMT’s Membership Drives in April and November each year. These members make donations to the station and instead of receiving a thank you gift for themselves, they elect to send the gift of music to a school that has applied to receive a set of music through the Bach to School Music Donation Program. Download application >
How the Program works for WFMT Members during Membership Drives:
98.7WFMT is a listener supported classical and folk radio station.
Through our on-air membership drives listeners who choose to donate at the Encore Society level, can waive their gift and choose to send the gift of music to a school that has applied to the Bach to School Music Donation Program. A school will receive a set designated by the donor which could include either the complete works of Bach, Beethoven, or Mozart.
To be fair, donors do not choose which schools receive their gift of music. We fulfill the gifts in the order that schools apply to the program.
Following the drive, WFMT pairs a school with a donor specified musical collection. WFMT notifies each Encore Society member as to which school received the set and each school will be notified as to which set they receive.
How the Program Works for Schools:
Between membership drives, WFMT sends out a call to action to schools and school districts asking them to spread the word about WFMT’s Bach to School Music Donation Program. Schools are encouraged to apply to receive musical collections after filling out the brief application. All schools are accepted, even those who have already received a collection. Download application >
The success of the program – numbers and statistics:
Since November 2010, more than 415 sets of music have been sent to more than 275 Chicago area schools, enhancing their music libraries and classrooms while exposing thousands of students to the works of Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and many other great composers.
Teacher feedback from appreciative recipient schools:
“On behalf of Rowe Elementary School I wanted to say thank you for selecting us to be a partner with your Bach to School program. We are so thrilled to have received the CD’s. I am the music teacher and am using the CD’s in my “Music Break” spot. We have many scholars who are “socially/emotionally” challenged. The “music break” spot allows for scholars, when escalated, to go there and select a CD they’d like to listen to and then they take as long as they need to calm down while listening to the music. Keep doing what you do … music changes lives!”
Megan Ablan, Rowe Elementary School
“Thank you so much for the kind donation of the 170-CD Set of the Complete Works of Mozart. I just finished a semester of teaching my fifth grade students about composers throughout the different eras. There is something about listening to a classical piece of music for the first time. I remember playing my students “Moonlight Sonata” and the interest and excitement in my students’ faces. This was something they had never been exposed to. Thank you for offering this opportunity to my students. I am forever grateful that you are ensuring the listening of classical music in our schools.”
Alexandra Krug, Band and Choir Director at La Moille Schools, #303
“Thank you so much for the Bach CD set. It’s our jam! While we are writing this, we are listening to Bach’s first cello suite. Bach is an amazing musical artist, and it’s unbelievable how much music he wrote. We enjoy his long luscious George Washington-like hair. We hope you keep inspiring other schools with music. We think the Bach to School program is fabulous. Maybe we can give “Bach” someday. ”
Christian Liberty Academy’s 7-1 Music Class
“On behalf of the board of education, staff and students of Benjamin School District 25, thank you for donating the Mozart set through the Bach to School program. We are excited to incorporate this classical music into our middle school music curriculum. Students studying musical historical time periods and composers will be able to hear the vast amount of music produced by this composer. We greatly appreciate the efforts of WFMT in providing additional resources for our students.”
Philip Ehrhardt, Superintendent of West Chicago, School District 25
“Thank you very much for awarding Beard School with the wonderful collection of Mozart CDs. I express my sincerest gratitude to all who have been instrumental in granting this resource to our students. The quality of your programming is unrivaled and the measures you have taken to reach out to young people through your “Bach to School” initiative are most admirable. Thank you again for what you have done!”
Olga Prevas, Beard School
“Thank you and WFMT for the Bach to School program. Our music teacher was thrilled with the Fritz Reiner and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra collection which will help him teach our students about so many different composers and types of music. The teachers are also working on a check out system that will allow them to continue using the CD's in the classroom with their students at other times. WFMT and your donors are helping Shoesmith School bring the gift of music to our students in a way that was not possible before.”
Anita Barron, Shoesmith School