D’Addario Announces the Start of Their Own Free Lesson Program

D'Addario along with the Harmony Program bring free lessons to children of D'Addario employees as well as kids on Long Island


 The James D’Addario Family Foundation, the D’Addario Foundation, and the Harmony Program lead by example with the aim of increasing the number of local music programs supported by musical instrument companies —

FARMINGDALE, NY–January 2, 2014–Three music-focused nonprofit organizations converge to provide underserved Long Island, NY, third-graders with free musical instruments and a uniquely intensive after-school music program.

“I want this program to become a model for our industry,” remarked James D’Addario, the program’s biggest benefactor and the CEO of D’Addario & Co., the world’s largest manufacturer of musical instrument accessories. Mr. D’Addario was troubled by the lack of free music programs currently provided by musical instrument companies and vowed to change the culture. “Once we show how well our program works, we will begin outreach to involve other companies in our industry and community, and inspire the creation of additional local music programs,” he continued.

The new after-school program will provide 25 third-graders from Deauville Gardens East and West public elementary schools in Copiague, Long Island, with their instrument of their choice and music instruction based on the El Sistema model, for two hours a day, three days a week.

“One of the hallmarks of the El Sistema model is intensive study,” commented Anne Fitzgibbon, executive director of the Harmony Program, the successful music-education-based nonprofit administering the after-school program. El Sistema is a uniquely effective method of music education that was developed in Argentina in 1975. It is now used in over 25 countries to provide free music education to hundreds of thousands of children each year. “El Sistema has shown us that when music-making is incorporated into children’s lives on a regular basis, [they] not only develop strong musical skills but other important skills as well, such as listening, collaborating, self-expression, and concentration,” added Fitzgibbon. “[The children learn] their roles as individuals and as members of a community.”

In addition to instruments and intensive study, each student will receive special access to concerts, cultural events, and coaching from accomplished professional musicians.

The James D’Addario Family Foundation is providing generous funding for the majority of the program’s needs, including funding for musical instruments and supplies, and for instructors’ and directors’ salaries. It is also providing the program’s venue: the D’Addario corporate headquarters, in Farmingdale, Long Island. The D’Addario Foundation, which operates independently from the James D’Addario Family Foundation, is providing transportation to the lessons from the Deauville schools.

The Deauville elementary schools were selected for their proximity to the D’Addario & Co. headquarters, as well as for the number of D’Addario employees’ children who attend. The schools do not currently offer such music programs.

The partnering foundations will co-host a launch event for the program Wednesday, January 8, 2014, at D’Addario headquarters. The program’s organizers and instructors will be in attendance, as well as many students enrolled in the program and their parents.

The program begins January 13, 2014. Contact foundation@daddario.com for more information.


About the James D’Addario Family Foundation

The James D’Addario Family Foundation is the personal philanthropic foundation of Jim and Janet D’Addario. While the foundation supports many music programs it has dedicated significant support to community-based charities and educational institutions including Providence House, St. Francis Hospital, Long Island Cares, Providence College, Hofstra University and the Casey Lee Ball Foundation.

 About the D’Addario Foundation

For over 30 years the D’Addario Foundation has dedicated its support to not-for-profit organizations that provide sustainable, high-quality music instruction programs in underserved communities. Through the generous support of D’Addario & Co., the D’Addario Foundation awards grants, product donations and uniquely inspiring performances to organizations that strive to achieve this mission. Believing in the transformative nature of music, the D’Addario Foundation hopes to create positive change in the world by creating more musicians and opportunities for children and adults to express themselves through music.

 About the Harmony Program

The Harmony Program is a nonprofit organization that brings intensive after-school music programs to communities with limited access to instrumental music education. They partner with schools and community centers to create intensive after-school programs that teach children to read music, play orchestral instruments and perform in ensembles. By training young musicians and building youth orchestras in underserved neighborhoods, the Harmony Program works not only to shape the lives of children but also to engage and inspire their parents and their broader communities.