The ASCAP Foundation Community Outreach & Music Education Programs

The ASCAP Foundation funds many music education, talent development and humanitarian programs that serve the entire music community. Our support of these programs is in keeping with The ASCAP Foundation’s commitment to support music creators, provide music education opportunities and community access to music. Funding for these programs is made possible by contributions from ASCAP members, other foundations, corporations and music lovers throughout the country.

Music Heals Division

Since the beginning of recorded history, music has played a significant role in healing. That is why The ASCAP Foundation has created a Music Heals Division dedicated to supporting programs that improve the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the body through music. We are very excited about the progress made through initiatives that employ music as a means of helping people through difficult conditions and situations. Here is a link to a variety of programs funded through The ASCAP Foundation Music Heals Division which focus on addressing challenges such as autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, homelessness, depression, Alzheimer's disease, grief and aphasia.

Click here to see Music Heals programs

A student from P.S. 20 shows off his very own magic lamp

A student from P.S. 20, the Anna Silver School located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan shows off his very own magic lamp from the Aladdin performance on Broadway.

Children Will Listen

The ASCAP Foundation "Children Will Listen" program was established - in honor of ASCAP member and musical theatre great Stephen Sondheim (West Side Story, Gypsy!, Pacific Overtures, A Little Night Music) - in 2005 to bring the musical theatre experience to young students nationwide. The program was named for one of the songs from his musical, Into the Woods. This educational program offers a generation of students who may never have been to the theater their first musical theatre experience. There is no cost to schools or students participating in the "Children Will Listen" program. "Chidren Will Listen" is funded by many donors who chose to honor Stephen Sondhem's 75th birthday through gifts to The ASCAP Foundation in support of this program.

America SCORES

America SCORES, an after-school program that uses poetry and soccer to inspire literacy, healthy living and civic responsibility among urban youth, has partnered with The ASCAP Foundation to present a new program, ASCAP Songwriter Residency @ America SCORES. The program is designed to provide an engaging and inspiring way for kids to express themselves through songwriting, while teaching them to value and respect their own creative work and that of others.

"Music in the Schools" Program


Students from Nance Elementary School in St. Louis record their original songs at Shock City Studios as part of the ASCAP Songwriter Residency @ America SCORES.

The ASCAP FOUNDATION "Music in the Schools" Program partners The ASCAP Foundation with VH1 Save the Music Foundation and Alfred Music Publishing Co., Inc. to provide folios, sheet music, band arrangements and method books to the public schools nationwide selected by VH1 to receive musical instruments, thereby providing quality music for students to play as they learn their instruments.

Since the program's inception in 2000, over 1,700 public schools across the country have received instruments and accompanying folios, sheet music, band arrangements and method books impacting millions of children. In addition, schools receive information on Creativity in the Classroom: Creative Ownership and Copyright, a unique curriculum for grades 3, 4 and 5 designed to help students recognize their own creative work and understand their rights as owners of intellectual property as well as the ethics of protecting and respecting the creative property of others.

Creativity in the Classroom


The ASCAP Foundation, VH1 Save the Music Foundation and Alfred Music, partner to provide folios, sheet music, band arrangements and method books to public schools nationwide selected by VH1 to receive musical instruments.

The newly updated "Creativity in the Classroom" curriculum is designed to help students recognize their own creative work and to understand their rights as owners of intellectual property as well as the ethics of protecting the creative property of others. The premise of the project is to encourage students to label their creative work with the copyright symbol, the year, and their names, just as they see on any published, professional creative work.

While "Creativity in the Classroom" focuses on student music compositions, it is directly applicable to all types of creative work and can 'float' on top of the Standards-based goals of any number of curricula.

The ASCAP Foundation and i-SAFE, a non-profit foundation dedicated to protecting the online experiences of youth, have partnered to provide teachers with a set of tools to educate their students in the seldom taught area of intellectual property. This unique curriculum for grades 3, 4 and 5 are called Creativity in the Classroom: Creative Ownership and Copyright.

The lesson plans are designed to teach young students fundamental intellectual property concepts as well as to teach young learners that their work and the creativity of others should be respected. Teenagers are widely regarded as the worst offenders of music piracy. Therefore, exposing pre-teens to the concepts of ownership and copyright will go a long way to proactively and positively affect their future behavior and their awareness of the value of creativity and the concept of ownership.

The unit relates intellectual property issues to students’ everyday lives – social collaboration and mobile access, memes, mashups, and all media – while promoting student creativity through the clever use of sock puppets. Access the curriculum through the i-SAFE website. Instructions can be found

For i-SAFE subscribers, Creativity in the Classroom: Creative Ownership and Copyright curriculum is a part of the i-SAFE Online Creativity and Ownership curriculum for grades 3, 4 and 5. The lessons are accessible through a GOLD subscription to all educators designated to teach 3rd, 4th and 5th grades.

Manhattan School of Music (MSM) Summer

MSM Summer, initiated in partnership with The ASCAP Foundation in 1999, has undergone some exciting changes. The summer camp has been expanded to include students from all over the nation who have completed grades 6-11. Set on a college campus in the heart of New York City, this special program provides intensive musical instruction in musical theater, chamber music, percussion, and piano studies. Campers develop their musical skills and join a community of young musicians through a wide variety of musical and social activities, with master classes taught by ASCAP members. National Endowment for the Arts has been an ongoing supporter of the camp.

Scholarships to attend MSM Summer are provided through The ASCAP Foundation Composition Scholarships in honor of Billy Joel and are available to U.S. residents.

Click here for more information about the Summer Music Camp >>>


Ma-ma makes a cheese sandwich
Ma-ma makes a cheese sandwich
Ma-ma makes a cheese sandwich

The ASCAP Foundation has teamed up with the Music Education Coalition, the nation's largest grass roots initiative in support of school music programs. Key to this initiative is an innovative website that simplifies the advocacy process by allowing community members to customize campaigns to address specific problems.

 The ASCAP Foundation Summer Guitar Project


Campers at the Fresh Air Fund create original songs.

Initiated in 1999, the collaboration between The ASCAP Foundation and The Fresh Air Fund Summer Camps for New York City children brings music to Fresh Air Fund campers by providing musical instruments and visiting composers and songwriters to the camps throughout the summer. In 2002, The ASCAP Foundation initiated the Summer Guitar Project at the Fresh Air Fund Camps by providing additional guitars and guitar instructors enabling campers to take guitar lessons.

Some of the organizations and programs that have received on-going support from The ASCAP Foundation include:

Arts in Education Aid Council,Children’s Music Workshop, Canoga Park, CA
Education Through Music - LA Music Education Program, Los Angeles, CA
Grand Canyon Musical Festival, Native American Composer Apprentice Project, Grand Canyon, AZ
Junior Composers Scholarships, St. Paul, MN
Kaufman Cultural Center Special Music School of America; New York, NY
Goodspeed Musicals Annual New Writer's Residency; East Haddam, CT
Harmony Project, Los Angeles, Arts Academy of Wilmington; Los Angeles, CA
HMS School for Children With Cerebral Palsy "Something Magical" Program; Philadelphia, PA
Institute for Music & Neurologic Function, Music Therapy Clinic for Aphasia, Bronx, NY 
JazzReach Education Programs; Brooklyn, NY
Jazzmobile Free Saturday Jazz Workshops; Harlem, NY
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Instructor-in-Residence; Los Angeles, CA
Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp; New Orleans, LA
Music Conservatory of Westchester, Music Therapy Institute, Eastchester, NY
National Alliance for Musical Theater, The Fund for New Musicals, New York,
New York Philharmonic Very Young Composer Project; New York, NY
Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls Scholarships; Goshen, MA
The Lovewell Institute for the Creative Arts Scholarship Program, Fort Lauderdale, FL
The Walden School Summer Camp Scholarships; Dublin, NH
WriteGirl, Songwriting Program, Los Angeles, CA

Living Archive Project

The ASCAP Foundation videotapes prominent ASCAP songwriter and composer members to document their place in music history. Recent interviews were conducted with composer, producer, arranger and recording artist Van Dyke Parks and composer, performer, musical comedian (as PDQ Bach) and broadcast personality Peter Schickele.

Some of the other ASCAP members interviewed since the inception of the program in 2002 include Broadway composer and lyricist Richard Adler, musical theater great Cy Coleman, Broadway lyric-writing great Betty Comden, lyricist Hal David, songwriter Ervin Drake, composer/pianist Dick Hyman and jazz pianist and broadcast personality Marian McPartland.

Additional interviews have been conducted for this project with producer/arranger, songwriter and film composer Johnny Mandel, folk legends Jean Ritchie and Tom Paxton, jazz pianist and broadcast personality Billy Taylor, lyricist Hy Zaret, keyboard player, vocalist and pop songwriter, Felix Cavaliere, major southern songwriters Guy Clark and Billy Edd Wheeler, and songwriting/production team Ralph MacDonaldBill Eaton and Bill Salter. Also interviewed were television composer Vic Mizzy, 1940s - 50s pop star and songwriter Frankie Laine, musical theatre and film composer Hugh Martin, pop songwriter Paul Vance, rock & roll songwriter Dave Appell, R&B writer/producer Jerry Ragovoy, songwriter Irving Burgie and folk/pop star and songwriter Judy Collins. Interviews were conducted with pop/country songwriters Randy Goodrum and Roger Cook, country writers Wayland Holyfield, Bob McDill, and songwriter/publisher Buddy Killen. The team of Tom Kelly & Billy Steinberg ("Like a Virgin," "True Colors"); film & TV composer Angelo Badalamente ("Blue Velvet," "Twin Peaks"); and folk music icon David Bromberg.

Interviews have been conducted with Nashville-based greats Don Schlitz ("The Gambler," "On the Other Hand"), Jim Weatherly ("Midnight Train to Georgia," "You're the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me"),Larry Weiss ("Rhinestone Cowboy," "Bend Me, Shape Me") and former Eagles member Bernie Leadon("Witchy Woman"). Most recently, a joint interview took place in Texas with three songwriters involved with the Songwriting with Soldiers Project: Darden Smith ("Little Victories"), Radney Foster ("Just Call Me Lonesome") and Jay Clementi ("When You Love a Sinner").The ASCAP Foundation Living Archive Project is funded through a gift from The Cain Foundation, directed by Wofford Denius.