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The Fray’s lead advocates for music education


Music is an important aspect in many people’s lives. This especially holds true for The Fray’s lead singer, Isaac Slade, and Governor of Colorado John Hickenlooper. For this reason, Slade and Hickenlooper decided to start an organization called Take Note Colorado, a nonprofit organization driven to establish a statewide music initiative.

According to Colorado Music Coalition, children that receive music education are more likely to attain greater academic achievements and are less likely to drop out of high school and college.

Unfortunately, more than 28,000 students in Colorado are attending schools that do not offer formal art education and around 50 percent of high school students are not enrolled in any art classes, according to Colorado Creative Industries. Take Note Colorado expects to change those statistics. Their music initiative will allow students in grades kindergarten through high school to have an opportunity to receive free music education.

“We all believe in the power of music, but I want you to believe in the power of music that can change the lives of our kids’ future,” Hickenlooper said. “They are better at math and science if they have music, they are better in getting along with their peers and they without question will have happier lives if they make music.”

This nonprofit organization uses concerts as a way to raise money to support their cause. In May, Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats headlined at the 1stBank Center, featuring Isaac Slade, Todd Park Mohr of Big Head Todd & The Monsters, and Billy Nershi of The String Cheese Incident all Colorado locals. This inaugural concert was wildly successful, bringing in about half a million dollars for Take Note Colorado, due in no small part to attendees and sponsors.

The nonprofit is hopeful that their upcoming concert on Dec. 9 will be just as fruitful, if not more so, in fundraising and being able to bring music education to Denver public schools. Hickenlooper and Slade hope to continue to raise necessary funds to be able to partner with various schools in the district.

As co-chair of Take Note Colorado, this nonprofit is very important to Slade. “I am honored to be a part of this,” Slade said. “The governor and I are going to make sure, with the rest of the team, that this grows, finishes, and sustains for the rest of our kids’ lives.”

Living up to his word, Slade, a CU Denver Alumni, was recently seen back on Auraria campus talking to students about internship opportunities at Take Note. This internship not only benefits the organization itself, but is a great opportunity for students who are interested in getting experience in the music industry or in the field of education.

The hired interns would be responsible for planning events and fundraisers; they would be able to meet industry professionals; and take this insider knowledge and apply it in real world situations. Though the organization is looking to only take one intern this semester, students still have the opportunity to volunteer and help Take Note Colorado to help set up the concert that’s happening in December.

Though the organization is fairly new, it’s on the right track to becoming very lucrative and potentially life changing. Music has given people a voice and allows many people to express themselves in a way mere words cannot, and Take Note Colorado aims to help thousands more.

Learn more about the organization here: Take Note Colorado
Photo courtesy: Shanahan Photography

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