O’Keefe Music Foundation: Investing in Children Through Music
By Kristen Clure
The O’Keefe Music Foundation is based out of Lebanon, Ohio, near Cincinnati, and has one mission: to bring music to as many children as possible. The foundation brings together children of all ages and encourages them to play and make music together. This builds an environment founded on a shared love of music and builds an understanding of collaborating with other artists.
The young kids are provided with the equipment they need to make high quality music together without worrying about having to book a real recording studio. The youth involved are also given the opportunity to work with professionals in the field, provide performances for global audiences, and are given the ability to learn about the production industry. All of these are vital skills for such a vast and competitive industry.
In order for children to participate in this organization, they must be between the ages of 5 and 18. To apply, they must have the permission of a parent or guardian and submit a video sample of them playing an instrument or performing. Because the funding is donation-based, spaces are limited.
The program was created by the American music teacher and owner of the Loveland Music Academy, Aaron O’Keefe, as an opportunity for children to taste what the music production industry is like while also being able to share their talents with the world.
The foundation has over 300 videos on YouTube, yet it is most commonly linked to its cover of the Tool song “46 and 2,” which has recently surpassed 20 million views! They have completed multiple projects, including Danzigology, which is a tribute album to Danzig.
These opportunities are all created for the children via donation and are given to them completely free of cost. One can donate to this organization online at www.okmusicfoundation.org. The goal from these donations is to provide as many videos for as many aspiring musicians as possible. The organization is seeking to provide a global perspective of how music is growing around the world today.
While 100% of the monetary donations go toward the recording process and to creating videos of the children’s performances, donations need not be entirely monetary; instruments are also encouraged to be donated.