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Compass T he A r t s WITH BELLS ON A heartful merging of our city’s creative and charitable impulses, the Miami Music Project teaches underserved youth that they can march to the beat of their own drum. T E X T BY RYA N JA R R E LL An unfortunate emblem of where our national priorities lie, the days of music education being a staple in our public education system are slowly and sorrowfully coming to an end. Luckily for Miamians, there are compassionate citizens willing to pick up the slack where perhaps our institutions may fall short. The Miami Music Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to utilize music as an instrument for widespread social change, is just such an association. Serving a remarkable 750 students during the 2016/17 school year (82% of which qualify for reduced or free lunch programs), with each receiving roughly 344 teaching hours and showcasing their talents in 15 concerns each session, it’s clear that the Miami Music Project is making an estimable impact in some of our underlooked regions, an effect which, they believe, isn’t limited to musical literacy. “We empower our children to express themselves, teach them the importance of working well with others, and provide them with a sense of community,” says Anna Pietraszko, Executive Director of the program and classically trained double-bassist. “Most importantly, we inspire them to dream and help them envision a brighter future;” MiamiMusicProject.org. 16