Taking Care of the People Who Make Music

The art of music is one of the few activities that can create an emotional experience for an audience. Many lives have joined the musical world because of the impact of a performance or event made on their personal life. The business of music is about communication and entertaining an audience. While music can be a calming oasis to someone in need, often the personal lives of musicians can get overlooked. For those not in the music business, it is very believable that musicians are doing well. However, in reality, musicians know that it can be quite difficult to pay the monthly bills and expenses especially when a crisis hits their life.

The Musicians Foundation has been an organization that takes the¬†reigns of making sure to help musicians who are in need of a helping hand. Founded in 1914, the Musicians Foundation’s sole purpose is to help professional musicians and their families when a disaster or life-altering change occurs in their normal routine. By using a relatively simple and easy application form, professional musicians can quickly receive the help that is needed if a crisis or transition enters their life. World-renown artists such as Pablo Casals, Yo-Yo Ma, Isaac Stern, Robert Lopez, and Kristen Anderson-Lopez have been involved in some form with Musicians Foundation and promoting its work.

In order to qualify for aid, some of the requirements for the applicant include:

  • Must be a professional musician (this includes but not limited to education, composition, and performance) for five or more years.
  • Must have tax documents.

Once the Musicians Foundation has received the application, the turnaround time for receiving the financial aid takes usually 2-4 weeks. After an application has been approved by board members, the applicant will receive the grant through a vendor check paid to the order of the biller of the costs incurred by the musician/applicant. These one-time grants have ranged from $500 to $3000. What makes this even more rewarding is 99% of qualified and eligible musicians who have completed the application have received aid during a specific time of need.

While the organization provides much financial aid, it does not provide loans or unemployment benefits. Common situations¬†where the Musicians Foundation has helped those in need include paying a musician’s rent while battling cancer, covering a mortgage payment during Hurricane Harvey, covering a dental bill or helping pay for an eye procedure. Click the video below to view a recent story of a life changed by the Musicians Foundation.

If you know of a musician who is needing some help with covering a bill or essential expense, direct them to this link to apply for financial aid. The application can be filled out by the musician, a family member, or even a friend of the musician. While most stories tend to lean towards classical musicians, the Musicians Foundation is an organization that helps musicians of all genres located throughout the entire United States.

With the Musicians Foundation being a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, financial donations are accepted. All donations are tax-deductible and directly impact the number of musicians the Foundation can assist.

Click on this link to learn more about giving to the Musicians Foundation.

Why is an article such as this featured on Last Row Music? Because the Musicians Foundation is essentially looking for applicants and wanting to make others aware of this valuable resource. One section of the musical sphere that is lacking on their applicant list is brass players. While jazz trumpeters sporadically appear in the applicant pool, other brass instruments have been quite rare to see on their list with needing financial help during a time of crisis. By having a revamped campaign to have a larger organizational awareness combined with an easily navigable application process, the Musicians Foundation is set to provide the right help to keeping musicians in the business when a disaster or crisis strikes their everyday life.

Click here to learn more about the Musicians Foundation.

Jeremy E. Smith

Jeremy E. Smith

Jeremy E. Smith is the Founder and Editor of Last Row Music. He received music degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and Grace College. Currently, Jeremy is the bass trombonist for the Huntington Symphony Orchestra and freelances in Central Ohio. As an educator, Jeremy teaches trombone at Ohio Wesleyan University, Kenyon College, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, and has a private studio of both local and online brass students.