Grantee Spotlight: Boulder MUSE

According to Mari Madeira – who co-founded Boulder MUSE, a grantee of your Community Foundation – self-discovery through music is “the birthright of all children, regardless of the financial circumstances of their families.”

“There shouldn’t be any financial constraints to kids learning music,” Mari says. “That’s why we offer music education for children whose families aren’t able to provide them private music lessons, or pay for them to participate in extracurricular choruses.” 
Specifically, MUSE is modeled after El Sistema, a music education and human development program that has benefited the children of Venezuela since 1975.
Upon observing other El Sistema-inspired programs across the country, Mari – together with Elisa Snyder – established MUSE in 2015.
“Through free instruction of instruments and choir, we believe we’re broadening kids’ education, and giving them an additional sense of purpose and pride,” Mari adds.
To date, the nonprofit, afterschool program has reached more than 300 elementary school-aged children at Columbine Bilingual Elementary and University Hill Bilingual Elementary. “We believe strongly in the benefits that music education can bring to the lives of all children, both in the way music study enhances brain development, and in its potential to lift their spirits and their self-esteem ... and their capacity to learn,” concludes Mari.
“Seeing the kids’ faces – their expressions of joy when they make music together – is so rewarding.”