Group of six smiling middle-school children with backpacks and their arms around each other.

About Music Workshop

Music Workshop is a nonprofit organization that creates high-quality, culturally responsive K-8 music education programming and provides it to teachers free of charge. Together with our worldwide community of teachers, our mission is to inspire students everywhere to enrich their lives and learning through music.

Music Workshop was founded in 2012 by Amy Richter in response to budget cuts impacting music education in her children’s schools in Portland, Oregon.

Amy Richter, Founder and Executive Director of Music Workshop, smiling in a black top and necklace.

For years, music education has been looked at as a luxury and not a necessity – so when budget cuts come along, it’s one of the first things to go. I couldn’t stand by and watch music disappear from my kids’ schools as well as elementary and middle school classrooms across the country. So, I joined forces with other concerned parents and educators to create music history and appreciation programming available to teachers everywhere.

Amy Richter

Founder/Executive Director

A group of young students and their teacher stand facing a monitor showing three children in red t-shirts.

Why Music Workshop is unique

Music Workshop recognizes that traditional music education tends to focus on European cultures, and makes a concerted effort to represent a much broader range of cultures in our programming. Music is a natural entry point to culturally responsive teaching, which is known to improve emotional well-being, trust and sense of belonging for young students.

Plus, our courses can be taught by any educator – regardless of their musical background, location or means. We make it easy to incorporate standards-based music education into the school day through a combination of active listening, reading, physical activity and critical thinking. And while Music Workshop programming is built for the classroom, it’s also flexible enough to be used for distance learning or home schooling.

    Collage of three images, including a brunette woman at a microphone, a Native American man, and an African American man.

    Who we are

    We are parents, musicians, educators and changemakers, brought together by a shared belief in the power of music to educate, inspire and motivate.

    Our work is made possible by many community, corporate and individual partners, who support our mission with their donations, expertise and creativity. The Music Workshop team is especially proud to collaborate with a diverse network of advisors who have musical expertise and personal connection with the cultures that our lessons represent.

    A young brunette student standing with her classmates and raising her hand in a classroom.

    How our program works

    Teachers create their own Music Workshop account and access all Music Workshop programming, free of charge, through our online teacher portal. Choose from courses on a wide range of musical topics including musical genres, instruments, cultures and careers in music. Each course provides examples and historical context to help students explore, understand and connect with the artists and music.

    Music Workshop courses combine videos, teacher-led Q&A sessions and interactive activities to keep students engaged and make music education fun for kids and teachers alike.

    Join our community

    Let’s work together to make inspirational music education accessible for all.

    Online, self-paced Professional Development by Music Workshop is COMING SOON!
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