Student piano accompanists advocate for equality in music education
Research shows that music training boosts IQ, resilience, and focus.
Richelle Shi, a rising senior at Stevenson High School, established a nonprofit organization called the Student Association of Piano Accompanists.
The association organizes volunteers that provide free piano accompaniment and lessons for children at around 20 underprivileged Chicago area elementary and middle schools.
They also reach out to schools with underfunded music programs and donate piano keyboards, incorporating a music curriculum that follows a cognitive-based approach to develop long-term collaboration and memory skills.
Its main goal is to provide the opportunity for teens to take on leadership and service roles, while also advocating for equal accessibility to music education across communities.
Recently, the Student Association of Piano Accompanists has been expanding across the nation, where new chapters are being built in low-income schools. They strongly believe in the importance of breaking down socioeconomic barriers and mobilizing youth to follow their passions, regardless of financial hardships.
Shi continuously strives to combat educational resource disparities in her community through hosting various fundraising events.
For information, visit pianoaccompanists.org.