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Music Nonprofit for People with Disabilities Expands Offerings

Music Nonprofit for People with Disabilities Expands Offerings

Daniel's Music Foundation in East Harlem now offers private music lessons and more for the community.

Daniel’s Music Foundation, a nonprofit organization in East Harlem, empowers individuals ages 3 to senior citizens with developmental and physical disabilities by combining recreational music programs with community and socialization.

DMF is now offering private music lessons, including recreational music sessions, where an individual can explore more than one instrument, including voice.

DMF's Core Program offers free music classes, including singing, dancing, guitar, and keyboard, among many others, which run on a semester basis. The classes culminate in a themed music festival, free for the audience. “All family and friends can come and celebrate the hard work and focus of our members,” says Carla Sullivan, DMF's chief marketing and development director. The waiting list for the Core Program is currently six months to one year.

The foundation also recently started offering field trips for special education schools, adult rehabilitation foundations, and similar programs so that other members of the special education community could celebrate music together. DMF is currently involved in a three-year contract with District 75—the special education arm of New York Public Schools—and offer over 250 trips to five schools every year.

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As part of the organization's 10-year anniversary last year, DMF focused on developing their scholarship fund and have given back over 125 trips to District 75. “The most important thing is to expose as many people with disabilities as possible to our programs and share the magic of music with them,” Sullivan says.

Daniel’s Music Foundation is also focused on its diversity music making initiative, a volunteer program designed for volunteers from private schools and organizations to experience the joy of working with individuals with disabilities.

The foundation offers monthly themed dinner dances for adults and family pizza dances a few times every semester, as well as the DMF Underground, an entertainment night where outside musicians are invited in to perform 20 minute sets, followed by an open mic night for members. Past guests have included Ian Mellencamp and various Indie bands. 

Members of Daniel’s Music Foundation will be singing the national anthem on Presidents Day for Harlem Globetrotters' game at Madison Square Garden.

Main image: Daniel's Music Foundation empowers individuals ages 3 to senior citizens with developmental or physical disabilities through music.
Courtesy Daniel's Music Foundation

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