Inspired Student Raises Money for Give a Note Foundation

Several months ago Carlo Feliciani, then an 8th grade student from Davie, Florida, was watching the Fox-TV show, Glee. He saw a public service announcement for Glee Give a Note, a partnership of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Glee’s creator, Ryan Murphy, and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Feliciani said, “I guess it kind of sparked something for me, in the sense that it was an awesome cause. Music had recently been introduced in a new way into my life, through the chorus program at [the University School of NOVA Southeastern University]. I think music has such an emotional power, both toward the audience and the performer.” He said, “I think it was the right thing to do because other kids should get the opportunity to feel the way I feel about music. Sadly, not every school has the funds to instill this music into their students, and I felt like it was time to change that.” He decided to collect donations for the Give a Note foundation. After receiving permission from Jenny Cook, the school’s arts director, and his choral teacher, Tom Gress, Feliciani contacted the Give a Note staff, and received logos and other materials to distribute at concerts. He also created posters to explain why he was seeking donations.  He and a friend collected more than $800 from attendees at two different concerts at his school. Cook said, “I am so proud of Carlo and his work to secure a donation of this size for the Give a Note Foundation.  Carlo and I look forward to finding additional ways to support the foundation in the future.” Feliciani plans to continue his fund-raising efforts. “I’ve actually been gearing up for another Give a Note collection at school,” he said, adding, “I will certainly continue this program for the next four years in high school and hopefully someone will take it over after me.” The Foundation recently launched the Give a Note Foundation Founders Campaign with the goal of raising $20 million in 10 years.  Funds raised will go to support 3 main initiatives: provide grants to school music programs in underserved communities; conduct research on ‘the state of music education’ nationwide; and fund programs to support teachers in their first 5 years of teaching. Feliciani also discussed his background in music: “I’m a choral student at my school, and I also know who to somewhat play the piano. I kind of taught myslef how to play a couple of songs on the piano, so that’s how I  know how to play. I am also very involved in theatre, and I am always a part of my school’s productions. When I was younger, I was involved in a choral group in my elementary school, but I didn’t really like it. When I started going to Uschool in 7th grade, I was introduced to my corus teacher, Mr. Gress, and his choral program. I guess not only did I find that I had a voice in his class, but he helped me realize how wonderful music really is. He sometimes took entire lessons just to talk about the history of music, and even let us watch Mr. Holland’s Opus to understand the power of music. I think at that point I was instantly hooked into music, and it really created a special bond with me. I’ve started to learn the piano a little better, I have even written a song on the piano. I think I realize that music isn’t just some sort of sound that people create. Music is a language that helps people describe unexplainable emotions. I’ve started to express a lot of what I feel through music, because it is the only language that really communicates what I feel. And some people say that the words are what gives music that feeling, but I think the melody and harmony play an even bigger part in music. They music itslef helps illustrate the feelings the words are trying to portray. Music is one of the most important aspects of my life, and I am thankful for how it was introduced to me through my chorus teacher.” Roz Fehr, NAfME managing editor for news, November 6, 2012. © National Association for Music Education (