This spring, ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro will launch his Four Strings Foundation, a non-profit organization that will curate music education workshops nationwide, and provide ukuleles, materials, and training tools to schools and educators.
"The Four Strings Foundation was created as a vehicle to give people opportunities to make a difference,” says Shimabukuro, the Hawaiian-born “ukulele hero” (Rolling Stone) and "superstar" (USA Today) who has performed for the Queen of England and shared the stage with Bette Midler, Jimmy Buffett and others. “My primary focus is to inspire kids through music to help them discover their passion in life. The message is simple — strive to be the best, live drug-free and have fun.” Shimabukuro will host many of the group’s workshops, either live in-person or through pre-recorded instructional materials.
The Four Strings Foundation’s mission includes:
• Provide music teachers with online and print resources to aid in classroom exercises.
• Raise awareness of the value of music in society by hosting concerts and publishing relevant online media.
• Lobby to increase music education incentives and mandates from local, state and national officials, as well as encourage traditionally minded school administrators to make their music programs more culturally relevant.
• Conduct research to develop the best music education teaching practices and examine the social and emotional learning processes of children.
• Help provide funding for music education programs in schools nationwide.