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Beyond the Instrument Visits L.A. for Its Second Annual Program


Last year, Sony Music Group (SMG) launched a new annual program called Beyond the Instrument and it kicked off in Nashville, Tennessee. 

The vision is to bring music education—in the form of workshops with local community organizations, and advice straight from artists and songwriters themselves—to young adults in underserved communities across the U.S.

Save The Music and Music Forward were the first nonprofit partners to join the program, and in collaboration with Noah Cyrus, the initiative kicked off with a virtual classroom discussion with students from Metropolitan Nashville’s Public School. At Antioch High School in Nashville, there was a four-week series of music industry education workshops. 

In addition, SMG provided a program grant to Save the Music to accelerate equity and access to music technology education in underserved high schools in Florida, Tennessee and California. Through the grant, Save the Music launched four music programs and delivered over 6,800 units of PPE for students to learn safely. 

This year, Beyond the Instrument came to L.A.

In collaboration with non-profit partners Girls Make Beats (GMB) and Save the Music, Sony Music Group hosted two separate events: the first encouraged women’s empowerment and focused on songwriting and composing; the second highlighted the history of Latin and mariachi music.

About the Songwriting & Composing Workshop:
Leaning into Women’s History Month, Sony Music Publishing (SMP) partnered with GMB to host a songwriting and composing workshop for 15 girls ages 10 – 18 enrolled in the GMB program. Students worked with SMP songwriters Crystal Nicole, Caroline Ailin, and Sarah Aarons to write a song about women’s empowerment during the first half of the workshop. 

After writing the song, students worked with SMP’s Bleeding Fingers Music composers Laurentia Editha, Adam Lukas, Christian Lundberg, Anze Rozman, Kara Talve, and Denise Santos to create a score for the piece.

“We’re thrilled to bring back our Beyond the Instrument program, expanded this year to provide exciting opportunities for aspiring songwriters and composers,” said Towalame Austin, Executive Vice President, Philanthropy and Social Impact, Sony Music Group. “Working with Girls Make Beats gives SMG the opportunity to further its commitment to inspire and prepare future music leaders—through the creative lens of our very own songwriters.”

About the History of Latin and Mariachi Music Event: 
Over 600 students from Griffith STEAM Magnet Middle School and surrounding elementary schools were in attendance for this event, which included a special visit from Sony Music Latin artist Lupita Infante, and a conversation with Infante led by artist Nancy Sanchez for students to learn about Infante’s journey to becoming a hit singer-songwriter.

As one of the program ambassador’s this year, Latin Grammy® nominated artist Infante said, “I am very honored to be part of Sony Music’s Beyond the Instrument initiative and excited to share my experience within the beautiful world of music with the students. As a musician and performer, it is a privilege to help promote music education, and personally, working with the Los Angeles Unified School District is very meaningful since my mom has worked with the district for over 30 years.” 

In addition, Music Forward led a four-week series of music industry education workshops with students from the Save The Music program. Nearly 50 mariachi-specific instruments including guitars, violins and trumpets were donated to students enrolled in the program.

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