Music Heals International

Mill Valley, CA   |  http://www.mhinternational.org

Mission

Music Heals International brings music and musicians to the children of Haiti and globally to inspire achievement, resilience, and creativity.

Notes from the nonprofit

Although Music Heals International has only one full-time employee reflected in our 990s, the organization partners with various independent contractors representing different specializations with whom we have long-term relationships. We also support three full-time program staff in Haiti through our implementing partner, CORE.

Ruling year info

2015

Founder/Executive Director

Sara Wasserman

Main address

PO Box 2593

Mill Valley, CA 94942 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

46-4627905

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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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Less than 700 miles from Miami, the challenges of life in a place like Haiti are worlds apart from those of average Americans. Haitians are deeply familiar with the insecurity caused by natural disasters, poverty and political instability. Reminders of the devastating 2010 earthquake still scar Port-au-Prince and the World Bank reports that nearly 60 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, earning $2.41 or less a day. Together with our partners, MHI’s music education program provides a safe and reliable space for creativity and growth. Amidst political and social upheaval, we help children build hope, resilience and the skills to navigate a challenging world.

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?

Composing Futures

In partnership with J/P Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO) and Little Kids Rock, MHI brings music education to schools and communities in Haiti. Through music education, we not only foster musical interest and ability, but achievement, resilience and creativity. We believe that in a country where 25% of people live in extreme poverty, these strengths and skills are critical to navigating the challenges of life. We help children discover their power, reinforcing school and community engagement, fueling creativity and inciting hope for the future. This transformation in perspective anchors children as they mature, strengthening their resilience in the face of adversity and sustaining their drive to build a better future.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Economically disadvantaged people

Where we work

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 entities served by expertise

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

Children and youth

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

School and community partners implementing our music education program

Number of students enrolled

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

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of girls participating in music education

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

Women and girls, Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of children with a disability participating in music education

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

Children and youth, People with disabilities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Number of new, first-time music education students.

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

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

As more students from the prior year continue to study music, the number of new students decreases as a proportion of all music education students. The capacity to onboard new students also decreases.

Number of music education students continuing from the previous year

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

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of advanced music students who serve as Peer Mentors

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

Adolescents

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Peer Mentors are advanced music students who take on a leadership role teaching beginner students at summer music camp and supporting music teachers at school by leading small groups during lessons.

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.

We envision a world where children engage, achieve and thrive through the power of music. To achieve this, MHI's fundamental goal is to increase children's access to free, quality music education.

The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has created the opportunity to pause and re-examine our strategic goals. Moving forward, we are doubling down on efforts to grow the capacity of our organization and agility of our program model. Three primary goals include:

- The growth of a teacher pipeline that trains advanced students who serve as Peer Mentors to become apprentice teachers. By giving young leaders vocational skills they can use to earn future income, MHI will enrich the youth development opportunities our program provides. Achieving this goal will enable us to expand beyond school-based partnerships and reach out-of-school youth through collaboration with other institutions embedded in the communities where we work. Additionally, it will ensure gender diversity among our music teachers and a committed cohort of young teachers deeply familiar with our program.

- Testing the replicating of our program model in another country through partnership with a local organization.

- Board development and fundraising diversification.

In partnership with J/P Haitian Relief Organization, now known as CORE, and Little Kids Rock, MHI brings music education to schools and communities in Haiti and beyond. Through music education, we not only foster musical interest and ability, but achievement, resilience and creativity. We believe that in a country where 25% of people live in extreme poverty, these strengths and skills are critical to navigating the challenges of life. We help children discover their power, reinforcing school and community engagement, fueling creativity and inciting hope for the future. This transformation in perspective anchors children as they mature, strengthening their resilience in the face of adversity and sustaining their drive to build a better future.

MHI empowers children living with disabilities by connecting them to music, self-expression and their peers. In 2017, one in ten MHI students had a disability. These children are among Haiti’s most vulnerable. They are often stigmatized in their communities and overlooked by mainstream programs designed to promote child development. Through our commitment to enhancing CORE’s inclusive educational model at MHI partner school, Ecole de l’Espoir, we introduced an inclusive approach to teaching music and are bringing tablet-based technology into the classroom to increase accessibility for all children.

MHI offers a unique approach to youth development and community building through music education. We provide opportunities for young leaders to become Peer Mentors and we give students a voice through public concerts that unite people and strengthen community bonds. An important part of our strategy is MHI’s Summer Music Camp, which extends music education to children in the community who lack access and trains Peer Mentors to lead classes.

To enable the growth of our program beyond Haiti, we are partnering with CORE and the Oscar Foundation in India to replicate our model.

To ensure our ability to grow the depth and reach of our program we are expanding awareness of our work, strengthening relationships with existing partners and building partnerships with new ones, and diversifying revenue streams. Our strategy includes: attracting more foundation grants, growing artist relationships, building the Rob Wasserman Memorial Fund, and expanding our individual donor base. In addition to the deep relationships and long-term support of a number of family foundations and individuals, in recent years we have developed new partnerships with grant-makers like the Rex Foundation and Reverb Gives, which awarded MHI instrument donation grants in 2018 and in 2020. We also continue to build relationships with artists who promote MHI’s growth through their time, talent, and Tweets. Artists who have previously performed in annual live benefit concerts include Jackson Browne, Bob Weir, Bonnie Raitt, Lukas Nelson, Colbie Caillet and Paul Beaubrun. With their support we also host auctions of signed instruments at our live events. Finally, MHI has expanded its focus in the last two years to new types of funding initiatives. In 2018, MHI introduced the Rob Wasserman Memorial Fund in honor of Sara’s father, a Grammy-winning bassist and lifelong musician. Jackson Browne generously agreed to be the first supporter and starred in a benefit concert that launched the fund in November 2019. It was an incredible success and generated 30% of MHI’s 2018 annual revenue in two months. This funding has been critical in helping MHI weather the impact COVID-19 has had on our ability to host live benefit concerts- MHI’s main fundraising tool.

As MHI celebrates six years in Haiti, we are amazed by how far we’ve come:

★ We’ve grown from 65 children at two sites to a vibrant music program that has reached more than 800 students across eight sites in Port-au-Prince.

★ Advanced students have formed bands, written over 20 original songs, professionally recorded their music and performed at the Port-au-Prince international jazz festival, PAP Jazz.

★ Through years of technical support from Little Kids Rock our Haitian colleagues have developed the capacity to run teacher training workshops in Haiti and abroad.

★ Little Kids Rock’s Tony Sauza introduced tablets with the GarageBand app to inclusive class teachers, making music more accessible to children living with disabilities.

★ MHI was the first nonprofit that works internationally to win a Reverb Gives instrument grant. This partnership helped us deliver more music to more kids and inspired our advanced students by putting high-quality instruments in their hands.

★ MHI was featured in Don Hardy's short documentary, Fingerprints.

Financials

Music Heals International
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Operations

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

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Music Heals International

Board of directors
as of 7/29/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Sara Wasserman

Music Heals International

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 07/29/2021

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
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data