HEAR LA amps up music education and outreach to create opportunity for LA kids

submission by hawley.anderson

About Your Organization

Organization name(s):

Citizens of the World Charter School Mar Vista and HearMe

Organization website:


Organization Twitter handle:


Organization Facebook page:


Describe your organization (check only one):

Nonprofit organization

For-profit organization



Please describe yourself (check only one):

Solo actor (just us on this project!)

Proposed collaboration (we want to work with partners!)

Collaboration (partners are signed up and ready to hit the ground running!)

In one sentence, please describe what your organization does.


CWC MV is a diverse public school with a rigorous, experimental learning environment dedicated to making students citizens of the world.

In one sentence, please describe your idea or project.


HEAR LA inspires LA children to create their own voice through music by collaborating with students from CWC Mar Vista and around the world.

Please write a sample tweet to describe your submission.


CWC Mar Vista and HearMe connect LA students by #BelieveInThePowerOfMusic

Does your project impact Los Angeles County? Check only one.

Yes (benefits all of LA County)

Yes (benefits a region of LA County)

Yes (benefits a population of LA County)


Which area(s) of LA does your project benefit? Check all that apply.

Central LA

East LA

South LA

San Gabriel Valley

San Fernando Valley

South Bay



What is your idea/project in more detail?


It’s 10am at Citizens of the World Mar Vista Elementary School (CWC MV) and a group of first graders in their HEAR LA hub study music and are inspired. They create their own unique piece….

Via the network they are joined with a fourth grader from Silverlake…

that features a solo from a violinist in Iraq….

that’s being produced by a brother/sister team who live in a homeless shelter in New York City.

HEAR LA offers music to students in-class, afterschool and free weekend instruction, targeting low-income children. Students will simultaneously learn about music and different cultures as they create, record, and collaborate with students at other schools and youth centers throughout the city, the country, and the world.

What will you do to implement this idea/project?


Citizens of the World Charter School Mar Vista purposely reflects ethnic, racial, linguistic and socioeconomic diversity. CWC believes that children who have had experience of interacting with and learning from students who are different from themselves in some way will be better able to function effectively in 2050 and will view their neighborhood, city and world in a more informed, skillful and community-minded light. HEAR LA is a great example of our program in action and it could serve as a model for learning today and in the future.

CWC MV is partnering with HearMe, a non-profit organization. HearMe’s mission is to develop a powerful international community connecting young people, giving preference to disadvantaged youth, through music creation, recording and production.

This musical program transcends traditional classrooms. Students not only learn to play, but to express themselves in new and creative ways as they are inspired through their collaboration with other Los Angeles and global students.

HEAR LA will share the power of music in four ways:

1. By 2015, CWC MV 336 students will receive music instruction twice weekly in class instruction.

2. CWC MV will be able to offer after-school enrichment classes such as a concert wind instrument band or songwriting.

3. A key part of HEAR LA is opening Saturday classes to any preschool or elementary age student in Los Angeles who qualifies for free or reduced lunch. CWC MV, in partnership with HEARME, already has promotional materials and an outreach plan to ensure awareness of this program. The students in the weekend program will experience a weekly six-hour session, which includes a healthy, free snack and lunch.

4. CWC MV will offer community "jam" sessions in various parts of LA in order to inspire similar programs across the city and increase our collaborative network.

CWC has already located highly qualified staff for the Hear LA program. HearMe will provide these instructors with technical training needed to set up and operate the network collaboration portion of the music program. We also have a detailed budget identifying all the necessary instruments and equipment for the HearMe Music Program and have made arrangements for preferred pricing for that equipment.



There are numerous, well known benefits of music instruction to education, including higher graduation rates, increased proficiency in reading and mathematics abilities, and better test scores. However, public schools today struggle with dwindling resources. Musical instruction often falls by the wayside. HEAR LA provides its students with a vibrant music program and uses that program as a platform to renew interest in music instruction that will reverberate throughout Los Angeles.

Implementation of CWC MV's HEAR LA program today would result in immediate direct benefits to hundreds of students participating in the weekday and weekend HEAR LA program annually. These students would benefit from immediate exposure to quality music instruction that, in addition to boosting creativity and self-expression, will also increase the likelihood of successful graduation, reading and math achievement and higher test scores.

Additionally, we expect that in year one, the HEAR LA program will improve learning throughout Los Angeles by inspiring other schools and youth centers to develop similar programs and to participate in the HEAR ME network of youth-based collaborative music. When HEAR LA opens it will be one of at least six global Hub locations. By 2017, HearMe plans to expand to 125 locations across the world.

By 2050, CWC MV expects that its in-class model will continue as CWC itself grows. We also anticipate using former HEAR LA students as mentors to current students. CWC MV further expects that the available network of musical collaboration partners will have expanded exponentially through the "ripple effect." By 2050, we hope for hundreds of participating schools/youth centers and network collaborators throughout Los Angeles and across the globe.

By 2050, the individuals who benefited from HEAR LA (whether as direct participants or indirectly as students of programs inspired by HEAR LA) will have become our city's taxpayers, voters, and decision-makers. By that time, we would expect these Angelinos will be more likely to have graduated from high school, achieved proficiency in reading and math, and scored higher on standardized tests than students without access to music programs. Additionally, we would expect that the Angelinos who participated in HEAR LA would have a higher degree of social connectedness, which as the LA2050 report recognizes, "is [itself] tied to educational attainment."

Whom will your project benefit? Please be specific.


HEAR LA will directly and immediately benefit several groups in Los Angeles. First, each of CWC MV's 240 students will receive HEAR LA music instruction through its in-school and after-school programs. This number will increase annually, as CWC MV itself grows from a K-3 to a K-5 program. CWC MV plans to extend its charter to include a middle school as well.

CWC MV, is a member of a nation-wide network of high-achieving, community-based public schools that currently serves the culturally diverse populations of Mar Vista and nearby Westside neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are 51% Caucasian, 26% Latino, 7% Asian, 14% African-American, and 2% other.

CWC MV will act as a pilot program for the other Los Angeles based CWC schools located in Hollywood and Silver Lake, effectively tripling the initial impact of the program, through expansion of the in-class and after-school instruction.

CWC MV's HEAR LA program also will benefit an additional 72-144 low-income preschool and elementary school aged children annually through its weekend program in partnership with HearMe. These children are unlikely to benefit from a music instruction program without HEAR LA.

We anticipate that the benefits of its HEAR LA Program also will echo throughout Los Angeles through the traveling demonstration or community "jam" session component of the Program. This will, in turn, expand the network of participants in other schools or youth centers throughout the city. Indeed, because HEAR LA is not limited by physical location, the potential reach of its impact is limitless.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.


A key partner in the HEAR LA Program will be HearMe. http://www.hearmehub.org

HearMe is a critical partner to HEAR LA success. HearMe already has developed a curriculum and software for virtual music collaboration. Through this partnership, HearMe will provide its curriculum and technical training to CWC MV's HEAR LA instructors. Additionally, HearMe will help funding for HEAR LA’s second and third year of weekend instruction for low-income students. Fundraising from both CWC MV and HearMe will supplement future years. We plan to expand it to the other CWC schools and hopefully other public LA schools. CWC MV and HearMe are excited to begin their collaboration and are in process of formalizing their agreement.

CWC MV will also collaborate with various professionals in the music industry, who will lend their music-making and recording expertise to the success of this project. These professionals include composers and professional musicians

HearMe has created an International Music Creation Network. This is a way for the various HearMe Hubs to connect through the web. HEAR LA would be one of the first hubs. As forerunners, our students would be learning cutting edge technology. As of now that connection is via SoundCloud, which enables sites to collaborate in virtual time. Every day there are new developments that HearMe follows and it looks like shortly, students will be able to collaborate in real time.

3 crucial factors to making HEAR LA work are the International Music Creation Network, students from diverse backgrounds and their imaginations.

HEAR LA gives students hands on experience with various software and music applications but also teaches them about teamwork, handling critiques and turning criticism into a positive. Every student will have the chance to be a leader and also to be a follower. By being a part of a global network, students will realize how big and how small the world is. They will get the chance to forge friendships across the global and bring new awareness to what is happening in those areas. HearMe plans to reach out to war torn countries and bring hope to children across the globe. Our LA students could be companions in peace and global unity and understanding.

How will your project impact the LA2050 "LEARN" metrics?

Percentage of children enrolled in early education programs

Percentage of community college students completing a certificate, degree, or transfer-related program in six years

Youth unemployment and underemployment

District-wide graduation rates

HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math

Academic Performance Index scores

College matriculation rates

Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher education institutions, and the workforce) (Dream Metric)

Suspension and expulsion rates (Dream Metric)

Truancy rates in elementary and middle school (Dream Metric)

Students perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school (Dream Metric)


Please elaborate on how your project will impact the above metrics.:

Ample research shows a clear relationship between music instruction and graduation rates, improved test scores, and increased success in mathematics and reading. For example, the Harris Interactive poll of high school principals (Spring 2006) found that schools with music programs have significantly higher graduation rates than do those without programs (90.2% as compared to 72.9%). That same study determined that schools with music programs have significantly higher attendance rates than those without programs (93.3% as compared to 84.9%). Other studies, such as those noted in Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis's well-known book Pourquoi Mozart, have also shown a direct relationship music education and increased success in math and reading.

By engaging with organizations that also serve low-income communities and students, HEAR LA can help create a network of opportunity for children. Low-income families are often not aware of every opportunity available to them. By connecting families and children with several organizations, participation in early education programs via partnering organizations will likely increase. Connectedness between the participating families can also create a tighter sense of community and support. Peer pressure is a powerful thing and if we can create a positive environment where learning and excelling in non-traditional ways is valued, the confidence that students acquire can carry them through difficult transitions.

Please select which other LA2050 Goals are relevant to your project or organization (check all that apply):

LA is the best place to CONNECT

LA is the best place to CREATE

LA is the best place to PLAY

LA is the healthiest place to LIVE

Please explain how you will evaluate your project.


CWC MV will evaluate the project in three ways:
1. We will do an assessment of subject area proficiency and growth including music, math, reading, technology and social emotional skills.

CWC MV will evaluate the success of the direct instruction component of the HEAR LA Program. We will form a baseline of engagement and proficiency in each area to compare against at the conclusion of the program’s first year.

We will also utilize data from years where the program has not been implemented to compare proficiency and growth rates with the program against proficiency and growth rates without the program.
We predict that Math, Reading, Musical and social emotional skills will have a growth rate of 40%

2. We will conduct satisfaction surveys with parents of HEAR LA students to obtain anecdotal observations of growth of confidence in musical ability, comfort with technology, and math and reading skills in their children. We expect parents will be at least 90% very satisfied with the program and 90% report significant or very significant growth (as observed by them) in math, reading, comfort with technology, musical ability, or social emotional skill.

Participating students will self-report, via surveys, their current opportunities for musical instruction, proclivity for math and reading, current self-perception of their musical abilities, and current knowledge of particular cultures with which we will be interacting, both within LA and globally. Surveys will be conducted at the beginning and end of the program. For example, we expect a proclivity for math and reading to have a 40% increase.

3. In-class, after school, weekend participation, and community jam sessions will be critical to the success and growth of the program. We will track both in-school and community participation rates based on enrollment, population and socio-economic data. We plan to do at least 4 jam sessions with 40 children per session.

CWC MV will identify outreach partners and measure level of interest, participation, and adoption of the program through these sources. Participant and organization engagement will be evaluated via participation rates and surveys.

Longer term, we will also assess continuity between organizations who serve low-income children. By tracking the movement of students through community programs, we can be a part of ensuring low-income children know about and can take advantage of other opportunities throughout the city.

What two lessons have informed your solution or project?


The LA Times reported (Jan 7, 2013), 1 in 5 of California children live in poverty. Ann O’Leary stated in that article “Our ability to thrive as the world’s ninth largest economy depends on having an educated, healthy and stable next generation of workers.” HEAR LA reaches out to groups of disadvantaged youth by teaching them to use iPad based recording studios, instruments, music education software, and connecting them to a larger International Music Network. HEAR LA will give students the vocabulary and the confidence to become active participants in the music industry, in Los Angeles and in the world. HEAR LA will keep not only students but also Los Angeles relevant in a global world. Funding from LA 2050 will position children of Los Angeles to be global leaders.

CWC MV's HEAR LA Music Program allows children in Los Angeles to embrace music as a way to express themselves and share that expression with others outside their immediate communities. It is often easy in a big city for children to feel small and think their voice doesn’t matter. HEAR LA proves to them that not only does their voice matter, but people all over the world care what they have to say. By empowering our city’s children, we will be inspiring them to learn more, to try more and to engage in the world around them. Music instruction can spur creativity and confidence in the classroom, while also supporting advancement in mathematics and language arts, improving test scores and increasing the likelihood of graduation.

By connecting in a meaningful way and using the universal language of music, our children will learn more about other cultures, other religions, other ways of life and other perspectives. Imagine in 2050, formerly disadvantaged youth are the doers and leaders not only in the music industry but leaders of the world. Los Angeles can become a global center because we started today, with 350 pre- and elementary school aged kids, and taught them music appreciation, songwriting, editing, production, and instrument instruction while virtually collaborating throughout our city and the world.

Explain how implementing your project in the next twelve months is an achievable goal.


CWC MV and HearMe are ready to implement the HEAR LA program the moment funding is in place. CWC simply needs to augment its existing music education and after school programs to include HEAR LA. CWC has a lead teacher, Hayley Roberts; ready to oversee the HEAR LA program. Ms. Roberts has a passion for music and worked as a curriculum writer for Music and Geography for the International Middle Years Curriculum (IMYC), which is taught internationally in 40+ countries.

HearMe stands ready to supply the necessary technology training and assist with equipment requisition. HearMe has an existing, replicable and easily deployed model for instruction and collaboration.

Please list at least two major barriers/challenges you anticipate. What is your strategy for ensuring a successful implementation?


The primary barrier to the success of HEAR LA is initial funding. CWC MV has funding in place to ensure the continuation of the HEAR LA program past its inaugural year, but we need seed money to purchase the necessary equipment and supplemental training needed to launch HEAR LA.

Our second greatest challenge lies in ensuring the HEAR LA Program reaches a meaningful number of low-income students. This is a key component of the HEAR LA Program. In order to ensure low-income participation, CWC MV, in collaboration with HearMe, formulated the cost-free weekend component of the HEAR LA music program, which will exclusively serve students who qualify for free and reduced lunch.

We also plan to facilitate low-income participation by including free lunch and snacks and by consolidating classes to a single weekend day to minimize transportation burdens. CWC MV has an outreach plan in place to publicize the availability of this program to low-income families throughout West Los Angeles.

What resources does your project need? (check all that apply)

Money (financial capital)

Volunteers/staff (human capital)

Publicity/awareness (social capital)

Infrastructure (building/space/vehicles, etc.)


Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)

Community outreach

Network/relationship support

Quality improvement research

25 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

Forbes agrees. We need music! This program is inventive and will move us forward to be a global powerhouse in 2050!


by TwinMom
over 1 year ago
by TwinMom
over 1 year ago

Music is an essential part of education -- not just an accessory!

by HFC
over 1 year ago
by hawley.anderson
over 1 year ago

Thanks to Fender Music Foundation and the Foo Fighters to help us rock the vote! Debra Messing and Judd Aptatow tweeted to celebrate the power of music! Thanks for believing that a child's voice matters and wanting to empower them.

by hawley.anderson
over 1 year ago

There is a lot of thought put into this program that will contribute not only LA but will bleed over into other cities such as Las Vegas. This is a good challenge and solution as to the art of possibilities.

- Blessed Diamonds Incorporated

over 1 year ago

Brilliant idea

by Deaddogla
over 1 year ago

We absolutely need more music education in LA. Our city is so rich in musical resources, but somehow it's not getting to our kids! This is an amazing project that has the potential to connect kids all across our city with more children and musicians across the world. What an opportunity!

by MamaHapa
over 1 year ago

Excellent idea!

by christydt
over 1 year ago

Mindshift just wrote about how music is so important in our young children. HearLa would empower young children and light up their brains as they get to write their own songs and have other children across the world collaborate with them. Imagine what a brain can learn!

by hawley.anderson
over 1 year ago

I love this video so much. Music is so important to children!

by chuckbutterworth
over 1 year ago

Amazing! I love it!!

by jannajones777
over 1 year ago

Love it. Well done.

by mullaghman
over 1 year ago

love it.

by mullaghman
over 1 year ago

Bringing kids together globally through the shared experience of making music -- are you kidding me? Where was such a program when we were kids? I love it! How amazing it would be for all kids to be able to do this down the road -- let's get this started!

by minnah
over 1 year ago

Mixing music with the ability to collaborate and engage with others around the world is brilliant!

by kieve.huffman
over 1 year ago

Would be fab to have our kids doing instrumental music! Love it!!

by caty.kehs
over 1 year ago

Music can bridge communication gaps across cultures. It fits right into our school's vision.

by teachermomhelen
over 1 year ago

This is great!

by nicole.bontemps
over 1 year ago

This is fantastic. Music is an amazing vehicle for learning. Bravo!

by judy.sitzer
over 1 year ago

I love this!

by JeninLA
over 1 year ago

Article on how music can help kids learn tough concepts. For example -- Sing a song of fractions?

One way to make learning these things easier, Levinson said, is to have students write a song to help them memorize or understand a new concept.


by hawley.anderson
over 1 year ago

I'm a huge believer in the benefit of music in schools! Happy to see this group working to keep music in our classrooms.

by TEGolden
over 1 year ago

Fascinating. How do the kids connect? Pen pals of music?

by christydt
over 1 year ago


by PatriceLatafima
over 1 year ago

Pink ribbon award box icon 45b87e779c93f5099a48378c2aadc0fcd51184974daecf76e3f5c50034ea21fb
Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Submission Ended
Thursday, July 31, 2014
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Voting Ended
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 3 83da7a9432aeea960e1a9e9ee93e7ea1221af6c8f42b27964f2e9999d94b2b8d Step3 title 3d9e2a65d6ea1ad301f8fc607f5f828bd96362932c71d81c0da5b1fd964422b0

Winner Announced
Tuesday, September 30, 2014