CRESCENDO ACADEMY OF MUSIC INC

your community music school

aka CAM   |   Kalamazoo, MI   |  www.crescendoacademy.com

Mission

We are a non-profit community music school that provides services to all children and adults and offers need-based scholarship opportunities to our students. We offer a Music Together program for ages 0-6. Community Voices is an ensemble for teens and adults with physical and mental challenges. We also are the home of the Kalamazoo Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra, the Crescendo fiddlers, and several smaller ensembles. Through Marvelous Music!, our outreach collaboration with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, we provide Music Together(R) classes to nearly 700 preschoolers in the Kalamazoo area.

Ruling year info

1988

Executive Director

Ms. Audrey A Lipsey

Main address

359 S. Kalamazoo Mall Suite 12

Kalamazoo, MI 49007 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Young Strings Academy

EIN

38-2787387

NTEE code info

Arts Education/Schools (A25)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Crescendo Academy of Music's mission is to provide individualized music instruction in a positive and supportive atmosphere to all persons regardless of age, ability or income.
Music instruction is becoming less available in our school systems; private instruction can be out of reach financially for many families. Crescendo works to address these access issues.
Strategic Planning was completed in the fall of 2017, during which the organization committed to the organizational values of

Community
People
Quality
Inclusion

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Private lessons

We offer private instruction on violin, viola, cello, string bass; piccolo, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone; trumpet, French horn, trombone, low brass; piano, voice, percussion, guitar, mandolin; theory and composition.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

Ensembles include the Kalamazoo Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra; Crescendo Fiddlers; string, wind, and jazz chamber ensembles.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

A music and movement class for ages 0-6 and the adults who love them.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

Marvelous Music! is a collaboration between Crescendo and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra serving preschool students in Headstart, KRESA, and YWCA Child Care Center classrooms.

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

This ensemble offers musical experiences for teens and adults with a variety of mental and physical challenges. Led by a board-certified music therapist with assistance from community teaching artists, this program provides participants with a unique opportunity to work collaboratively to learn and perform music.

This grant-supported program is very low cost, only $30 per session for each participant.

Population(s) Served
People with intellectual disabilities
People with physical disabilities

Where we work

Awards

Epic Award, Community Arts Award 2020

Arts Council of Greater Kalamazoo

Affiliations & memberships

Americans for the Arts 2005

National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts - Member 2007

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of students enrolled in private lessons, group classes, or ensembles at Crescendo. (Does not include Marvelous Music outreach program participants.)

Total number of performances

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Age groups

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of free public performances presented by Crescendo students and faculty.

Total dollar amount of scholarship awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of free registrants to classes

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers

Related Program

Marvelous Music!

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of students participating in our Marvelous Music Outreach program to underserved preschools.

Number of individuals attending community events or trainings

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Audience attendance for free community performances by students and faculty.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Crescendo Academy of Music's mission is to provide individualized music instruction in a positive and supportive atmosphere to all persons regardless of age, ability or income. We offer individual lessons and classes on a wide variety of instruments to a diverse population; babies through adults participate in our programs.

Crescendo seeks the following outcomes: program growth, reaching underserved populations (income, race, age, ability), improving quality of life for program participants (especially for members of Community Voices and for older program participants), fostering a lifelong love of music (especially in our programs for children), and successful public performances for students taking private lessons as well as participants in ensembles.

Crescendo works toward this mission by providing private and group instruction in instrumental and vocal music from highly qualified musician-teachers to people throughout Southwest Michigan. The Academy also offers performance opportunities; lessons in music theory and composition; ensembles; Orff Studio classes; Music Together®, a nationally recognized early childhood program; and Community Voices, a program for teens and adults with mental and/or physical challenges.

We also go into the community. We offer Music Together at three off-site locations; we provide a zero-hour strings program at Vicksburg Community Schools, a rural school district; and, through collaboration with Kalamazoo Public Schools, we provide string coaches at Kalamazoo Loy Norrix and Central high schools and Maple Street Magnet for the Arts middle school.

The Academy collaborates with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra (KSO) to offer Marvelous Music!, building social-emotional skills (active participation, focus, expression) and Kindergarten readiness skills (motor skills, musical aptitude, pre-reading skills) through music and movement for over 600 preschool children in Head Start, Great Start Readiness Programs, and other underserved children in the greater Kalamazoo area. This program offers weekly Music Together classes, Musical Storybooks with the KSO Burdick-Throne String Quartet, CDs and books for the home, Great Music for Great Kids CD and activity book, KSO Family Discovery concert tickets, and private violin lessons for select students.

Crescendo Academy of Music has been in existence for over 30 years. All of Crescendo's teaching artists have a music degree and/or many years of experience teaching their instruments; many hold or are working toward Master's degrees and some hold a doctorate. Our teaching artists are also performers, holding leadership positions in orchestras, participating in small ensembles, and serving as accompanists throughout Southwest Michigan and Northern Indiana.

Crescendo's board represents key stakeholders, including Crescendo faculty, students and parents of students, community members, and members of the arts and educational community. Board members bring a variety of professional expertise, including knowledge of finance, fundraising, education, law, and the arts.

Crescendo's on-site enrollment reached 627 in March of 2019. Across all programs we reached over 1,250 children and adults with the number of contact/teaching hours totaling over 26,000. Crescendo Academy's Music Together® classes for children ages 0 – 5 and the adults who love them, continues to grow, and we have introduced a Music Together Generations class in which elder “grand-friends" participate with parents and children. The classes are held in an elder facility, and we are hoping to expand this program in the coming years.

Orff Schulwerk classes that stress learning music through movement, instrument ensembles, and voice, are offered for children who have aged out of the Music Together program, but may not yet be ready for private study as well as for adults interested in an unusual musical outlet.

Enrollment in the Crescendo Community Voices Ensemble continues to increase. Clearly our team teaching approach of three (a certified music therapist, our Orff Schulwerk Specialist and the director of the Kalamazoo Regional Education Service Agency's Young Adult Choir) is working. The focus remains on teens and adults with special needs; however the choir and musical experiences are open to everyone with an open mind and an open heart. Our ensemble programs consist of both children and adult groups, including the Kalamazoo Mandolin and Guitar Orchestra, Crescendo Fiddlers, and a variety of student wind and string ensembles.

The need for more funds for student financial assistance is ever-present. Each year, we are unable to award funds to all the students who request aid, and some students never make it off the waiting list for assistance.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Crescendo responds to community needs by offering a broad range of programs that are inclusive of people of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities, both on-site and through partnerships with schools and community organizations, such as the Kalamazoo Public Schools, Head Start, and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. Students are encouraged to perform in monthly recitals, in their houses of worship, and at community events. They are also encouraged to audition for competitive organizations such as the Kalamazoo Junior Symphony and Prep String Orchestra where our success rate is nearly 100%. Our students hold leadership positions within these performance groups, and graduating seniors successfully audition for their college orchestras and degree programs.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    After receiving many requests, Crescendo is in the process of developing a new group violin/Suzuki group program for our students. We have increased our marketing and recruitment efforts in areas of the community that is underrepresented in our programs. Our Marvelous Music outreach program (a partnership with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra) has recently added materials that have been translated into Arabic, enabling us to reach more non-English speaking families.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Community partners and funders appreciate the data to help measure the effectiveness of our programs, as well as suggest improvements to better serve the needs of the community.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback,

Financials

CRESCENDO ACADEMY OF MUSIC INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

CRESCENDO ACADEMY OF MUSIC INC

Board of directors
as of 5/18/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jessie Duniphin

Homemaker/Community Volunteer

Steve Phillips

Greenleaf Trust

Melissa Tallon

Fisher Spiegel Kunkle & Gerber, PLLC

Laufet Morrison

Homemaker, Former Social Worker

Terry Baxter

Retired physician

Barbara Graham-Palmer

Retired educator

James Roach

Retired educator

Scott Russell

Art of Education University

Samantha Sprague

Law Office of Samantha Sprague

Taylor Farrell

Greenleaf Trust

Amanda Woodin

Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/18/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American/African
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 05/18/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.