The Fender Play Foundation announced a partnership Monday with Grammy-winning brother-sister team Billie Eilish and Finneas to expand a youth music education program for Los Angeles Unified schools in Highland Park.
With contributions from Eilish and Finneas, the Fender Play Foundation and L.A. Unified will provide instruments and weekly in-person music instruction to close to 2,500 elementary school students across 10 Highland Park schools for the next three years.
The program will educate 50 LAUSD teachers to play ukulele alongside the kids in their classrooms. All students and teachers will receive new ukulele packs donated by Fender to the schools.
“Music changed my life, and it’s an incredible feeling to be able to give back to my hometown and provide other kids with the very instrument that made me fall in love with songwriting in the first place,” Eilish said. “Through this program, I hope we can help inspire the next generation of creatives.”
Interim LAUSD Superintendent Megan K. Reilly added, “Playing music has been shown to strengthen social bonds by helping students find friends and cultivate a sense of community and creative expression.”
Since launching in June 2020, the L.A. Unified program has expanded to 5,000 students, and has donated over $1 million in resources and equipment.