Music is Key

Now in its fourth year, the Music is Key program is a collaborative effort between the Blues at the Crossroads Festival, and Indiana State’s Community School of the Arts and Center for Community Engagement.

The Music Is Key project enables at-risk children to benefit from quality music instruction. In addition, the program allows Indiana State School of Music student teachers to gain valuable teaching experience by providing music classes to children.

As funding for arts programming is being cut nation-wide, there is an increasing need for quality music education. Often, children are not exposed to the arts at school and due to financial circumstances children from low-income families are at greatest risk to be excluded from music programming offered at institutions and centers outside the public school system.


Children on free or reduced lunch plans at school are able to participate in the Music Is Key program. Each student receives a free guitar to keep, and attends one academic year of Guitar Club classes at no fee. There are 3 Guitar Club classes available for kids: ages 5-8, 9-12, and,13-16.

Included in the Music is Key program is Rock Band for teenagers. Teens of all ages may participate in this class for free for one academic year, if they are on free or reduced lunch plans at school.

The instruments and gift certificates for free classes are presented to the recipients on-stage at the Blues Festival every year. After the presentation, the previous year’s recipients get to play live on-stage!

According to Americans for the Arts, arts education “makes a tremendous impact on the developmental growth of every child and has been proven to help level the “learning field” across socio-economic boundaries”. The Blues Festival and Community School of the Arts are proud to be able to support music education in our community!