Meyer Music was founded more than 50 years ago by two educators, Ted and Betty Meyer, who believed that music education is critical to a child’s development. Today, the company’s three locations offer private music lessons and instrument sales or rentals for musically inclined students.
As school districts have cut arts funding, Meyer Music saw an opportunity to step in. In partnership with Fox4 News, it collects monetary donations and musical instruments that are refurbished and distributed to students who can’t afford to buy or rent them.
The effort, which began in 2010, was dubbed Band of Angels and is now a 501(c)(3) charity.
“Fox had been doing many stories about the arts being cut in schools,” said Mike Meyer, Chairman Angel of Band of Angels. “Meyer Music had all the infrastructure to fix and distribute the instruments as well as help identify students in need with its strong ties to over 60 school districts.”
Band of Angels has provided more than 1,800 instruments to schools and students. It also has funded 210 scholarships to send students to summer music camps for free.
Meyer Music, a family business, has instilled the importance of philanthropy into its staff.
“From a young age, all of the Meyer children were told of the need to give back to the community. So when the idea of using these instruments that were not being used at the time came up, it made perfect sense,” Meyer said. “So many studies show that kids who study music excel in all other areas of their lives, so by helping students learn music, we are also building a stronger community.”
Fox4 News shares that philosophy, Meyer said.
Involving the employees of both organizations has payoffs beyond the impact of the donations, he added.
“Without question it has made a seismic change to the company culture at both Meyer and Fox. Making our staffs both a part of the process has made them feel a part of it and also made them feel great about coming to work and who they are working for,” Meyer said. “On many occasions, employees have told me that they feel great telling people who they work for, and seeing the impact makes coming to work more fulfilling.
“Sometimes money is just the easy answer, but using the assets and talents you have around you in your business makes it more real for your employees. … Band of Angels has provided a perfect opportunity for us to share this project with our staffs and change our company culture while making a difference in the community, all at the same time.”