Established in Sep. 2019, the Fender Play Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) public charity solely dedicated to increasing access to music education through innovative & sustainable programs that put instruments & learning tools directly in the hands of students & teachers.
We are teaming up with LA Unified to fund and implement an innovative new program for music education combining direct access to instruments, teacher-led instruction and an always-on digital learning tool — Fender Play.
Our goal is to provide access to 10,000 LA Unified middle school Students by the end of 2021. With 5,000 students and 70 teachers currently engaged in the program, we are halfway there.
It’s critical that we keep teachers, students and families engaged and playing. Our focus is on building a scalable, sustainable model for music education. We are starting in middle school and hope to extend the program to elementary and high school.
There are over 52M K-12 students in the U.S. alone, and the vast majority have limited, or no, access to music education of any kind. Our vision is to extend the LA Unified pilot program to schools nationwide.
The Foundation is currently implementing an innovative new program for music education, combining direct access to instruments, teacher-led instruction and an always-on digital learning service — Fender Play.
Every student who participates in the LA Unified music program receives an Acoustic, Electric or Bass guitar, or Ukulele. The instruments are sent directly to their homes and are theirs to keep.
In partnership with the LA Unified teaching staff and administration, we are developing an innovative synchronous & asynchronous teaching method that combines teacher-led zoom & classroom instruction with access to Fender Play, an always-on digital learning platform designed to teach guitar, bass and ukulele.
Through direct artist involvement, class-drop-ins, field trips and events, the Foundation and LA Unified are working to provide inspirational moments and experiences to both compliment and encourage each student’s learning experience.
Through grants, partnerships and individual donations, the Foundation is raising funds required to pay for the instruments, teachers and tools that make the program possible. Our goal for 2021 is to raise $1M in external funding to serve 10,000 students, and $1.6M in 2022 to serve 20,000 students.
The Fender Play Foundation provides a pathway for students to reach their full potential through music education. By breaking down the barriers many children face in finding the right instructional leadership and means to purchase instruments, the Foundation helps students grow cognitively, creatively, socially and emotionally.
Leo Fender once said "Artists are angels. Our job is to give them wings to fly." The Fender Play Foundation is giving kids wings to fly. The Fender Play Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity organization supported by hundreds of individuals committed to give youth access to the benefits of music education, outfitting them with the best equipment, supporting teachers to keep kids playing and introducing them to inspiring artists.
The Fender Play Foundation is led by Co-Presidents Evan Jones and Ed Magee, Vice President Gianna Jackson, and Program Director Emilia Gore. Each team member brings a unique perspective, with backgrounds in music, education and philanthropy that embody the Foundation’s mission.
The Fender Play Foundation is committed to cultivating and celebrating diversity at every level of our organization – Board of Directors, Staff, Partners, Teachers and Students.
Our Board of Directors is made up of creative leaders with diverse expertise that guides our unique approach to music education.
Artists who work with the Fender Play Foundation give back by sharing their experience with our students, encouraging new players, and inspiring them to embrace a love of music and playing.
The Fender Play Foundation™, alongside seven-time Grammy winner Billie Eilish and eight-time Grammy winner FINNEAS, will expand the reach of its youth music education program with Los Angeles Unified schools to hundreds of elementary school students in their hometown of Highland Park.
Check back soon to see upcoming events!