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Making Music Matters! (MMM!)

 Making Music Matters! c/o Ohrenberger School, 175 West Boundary Road
 West Roxbury, MA 02132
[P] (617) 635-8157
[F] --
Pamela Hunter
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 22-2514422

LAST UPDATED: 03/03/2016
Organization DBA Making Music Matters!
Former Names Bring Back the Music (2000)
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

Our mission is to provide equity of access to excellent instrumental music education to students in the Boston Public Schools, inclusively enrolling children with diverse challenges, talents, and abilities. We believe vibrant music programs changes children’s lives.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide equity of access to excellent instrumental music education to students in the Boston Public Schools, inclusively enrolling children with diverse challenges, talents, and abilities. We believe vibrant music programs changes children’s lives.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $227,898.00
Projected Expense $222,150.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Making Music Matters!

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide equity of access to excellent instrumental music education to students in the Boston Public Schools, inclusively enrolling children with diverse challenges, talents, and abilities. We believe vibrant music programs changes children’s lives.

Background Statement

In 2000 Young Audiences of Massachusetts, in collaboration with the Boston Public Schools, launched “Bring Back the Music” [BBM], a 3 year pilot program designed to literally bring back instrumental music instruction to District elementary schools.Through 2004-2005 the pilot transitioned to and was renamed as the current school based, parent managed Making Music Matters![MMM] program.
Making Music Matters! has successfully expanded into 6 BPS schools: Bates, Beethoven, Conley, Mozart, Ohrenberger, and Philbrick elementary schools.For most children in these schools, the MMM in-school program offers them the only opportunity they will have to learn to play a musical instrument. Lessons are free and scholarships are provided to any child/family for whom the instrument rental fee presents a financial hardship.MMM is deliberately and purposefully inclusive, welcoming all students, and enrolling students from all educational settings. Parent involvement is key to the success of the MMM program.Parent program managers oversee overall project functions, while Parent Liaisons [one in each school] assist MMM instrumental instructors at each lesson.Parent volunteers support fundraising efforts, concert preparation, instrument distribution and cleaning.
MMM engages whole school communities creating school collaborations, promoting communication and cooperation among school administrators, making connections with teaching and learning in the classrooms,involving and connecting with parents/guardians/caretakers, linking schools with and across neighborhoods.

Impact Statement

MMM Successes
  •  Increased capacity enrollment/retention of students: MMM increased its enrollment from 420 students to 454 students in the 2015-16 school year.  We have increased our high enrollment from Grade 3 through Grade 5 among all MMM schools.
    •  Sustained capacity enrollment/retention of students: MMM continues to maintain high enrollment from Grade 3 through Grade 5 among all 6 schools

  •  District Model/Best Practices: multiple Boston Public Schools (BPS) Arts Expansion Grant awards to replicate and deepen MMM program in additional schools increasing enrollment from 306 students to 450 students [Boston Foundation report, The Arts Advantage]
  •  Parent Involvement: Parent-driven program demonstrates continued strong parent/family connection measured by parents serving as Program Managers, Parent Liaisons,  parent attendance at concerts, visiting lessons, volunteering/fundraising 
  • Program Outcomes supported by data: re-enrollment, student attendance, student progress, successful program expansion, parental involvement, community outreach
  • Assessment/data collection:student progress measured by bi-annual progress reports issued by MMM instructors and distributed to parents/families 
  • School choice: presence of MMM in schools is a deciding factor in families’ choice of elementary school 
MMM Goals
  • Continue to provide free, weekly, sequential, standards-based instrumental lessons to students in 6 Boston Public Schools
  • Strengthen Parent/Family Engagement
  • Maintain a challenging instructional pathway for mastery of instrument, performance skills, and ensemble experiences for all Making Music Matters! students
  • Implement pilot student self-evaluation and assessment task with Grade 5 students
  • Expand current network of community partnerships

Needs Statement

Making Music Matters! needs to cultivate additional donors and funding sources to: 
  • Maintain current programming in 6 BPS elementary schools
  • Complete full program replication in 2 schools [building program to provide separate lesson strands for Grade 4 and Grade 5, and adding lesson strand for Grade 3 in the Philbrick and Conley Schools]
  • Support program budget of $243,000 in 2015-2016
  • Build Professional Development fund for MMM instructors and staff, working to deepen their musicianship/teaching skills 
  • Improve data gathering/interpreting capacity

CEO Statement

Making Music Matters believes that learning to play an instrument enriches childrens' lives and enhances all aspects of their school experience.  Making Music Matters is proud to bring the gift of music to over 450 students annually, most of whom would never have the opportunity to study and master a musical instrument otherwise. 

Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
City of Boston- Citywide (Indiv. neighborhoods also listed)
Serves Boston Public Schools in West Roxbury and Roslindale.  Students served come from the West Roxbury, Roslindale, Mattapan, Jamaica Plain, Dorchester, Hyde Park, and Roxbury neighborhoods of Boston

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Arts Education
  2. Education - Elementary & Secondary Schools
  3. Community Improvement, Capacity Building - Community Coalitions

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Making Music Matters!

1. Making Music Matters! Since 2000 Making Music Matters! [previously Bring Back the Music] has provided free weekly group lessons in clarinet, flute, trumpet, and violin to thousands of students in Grades 3, 4, 5 & 6 in the Boston Public Schools. Making Music Matters! works a partner to broaden and enrich the Arts experiences in each school.
  • Grade 3 – Introductory Level:Grade 3 students rotate through 4 seven-week sessions of lessons on each instrument. At the end of each rotation, students perform in a “Mini-Concert” to which families and younger students are invited. Weekly instruction focuses on basic skills: instrument care, putting the instrument together, holding the instrument correctly, sound production. At end of Grade 3 students choose one instrument with which they will continue in Grade 4 through Grade 5. 
  • Grades 4 – Level One and Grade 5 – Level Two:Students deepen their mastery of their chosen instrument, developing tone, improving note-reading skills, playing with expression, and increasing participation in ensemble work.  Grade 5 and Grade 4 students perform in both a Fall and Spring in-school concert as well as combined (all 6 schools) Final Concert in June.  Making Music Matters! students also perform in annual community/neighborhood events:  Roslindale Village Holiday Tree Lighting and the Roslindale Youth Arts Event.
Budget  $244,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music Instruction
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) K-12 (5-19 years) Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success 
In 2013-2014 MMM will
  • Enroll @480 students in 30 weeks of lessons in 6 Boston Public Schools
  • Replicate MMM program in Grade 5 in one new school
  • Recruit parents to serve as Parent Liaison in each school
  • All grade 3 students will perform in a "Mini-Concert" after 7 lessons
All Grade 4 and Grade 5 students will participate in an in-school concert in November 
Program Long-Term Success 

As in the past, MMM will continue to

  • Maintain high re-enrollment rates of 89% in most MMM schools
  • Provide equity of access to high quality, sequential instrumental instruction promoting music literacy and competency
  • Increase parent/family involvement
  • Broaden community connections by expanding student performance venues in neighborhoods/community events
Program Success Monitored By 
MMM program success is measured by
  • Student enrollment/re-enrollment/participation data collected weekly by Parent Liaison in each school
  • Student improvement and musical growth is assessed through bi-annual Progress Reports issued to parent in January and May
  • Parent involvement data for concert attendance, visiting lessons, volunteer efforts are collected by Parent Liaisons in each school
Examples of Program Success 
Making Music Matters! has enjoyed sustained, multiyear funding from foundations and the Boston Public Schools Arts Expansion fund.  MMM has successfully replicated its program in 2 new schools in 2010, 1 new school in 2012, and will be adding 1 new school in September 2013.  
The program's mission which advocates for equity of access is strongly supported by the inclusion of 3 students from Autism/Asperger classes, 10 students from LAB (Learning Adaptive Behavior - students with moderate to severe emotional and behavioral challenges), and the upcoming enrollment of @ 5 students from the II Class (Intellectually Impaired class) at our new school, the Conley as well as the large numbers of ELL students in each MMM class in each school.  

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Ms Pamela Allen Hunter
CEO Term Start June 2010
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Martha Watson has served as the Program Director for Making Music Matters since 2010! and has been actively involved in the administration/management/expansion of MMM! since its beginning in 2000. She taught general vocal music for 37 years to students in Kindergarten through Grade Five in the Boston Public Schools. For the last 15 years, Martha taught at the Beethoven School in West Roxbury. She has a B.A. in music history and theory from Emmanuel College; a Masters Degree in Integrated Studies/Management/Education from Cambridge College; full Kodaly Certification from New England Conservatory of Music, and Level I Orff certification from Boston University. Martha is a member of OAKE and MENC. She is the 2002 recipient of the Nadia Boulanger Award for Excellence in Teaching from Longy School of Music in Cambridge, a 2009 Boston Educator of the Year, and the recipient of the Massachusetts Music Educators Association/Society for General Music Award for Excellence in General Music.  

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start Aug
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Joan Chan Parent Program Manager --
britt young Parent Program Manager --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
Associated Grant Makers 2010
National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts - Member 2010
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


Berklee College of Music Faculty Outreach Program
Boston Public Schools Network E Arts Pathway 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 17
Number of Volunteers 15
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % 85%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 12
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 11
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers 2
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit No
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? No
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency N/A N/A


Board Chair M. To be Determined
Board Chair Company Affiliation tbd
Board Chair Term Nov 2015 - 2018
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Cecil Adderley Berklee College of Music Voting
Magda Hernandez MMM parent and community volunteer Voting
Naomi Krakow Principal, Ohrenberger School Voting
Tanya Maggi New England Conservatory of Music Voting
Amy Poliakoff retired Making Music Matters instructor Voting
Edward Puliafico Principal, Beethoven School Voting
Martha Watson retired Making Music Matters director Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr Douglas Chakmakian Parent Volunteer Advisory Committee Exofficio
Ms Rita Gwinn Parent Volunteer Advisory Committee Exofficio
Ms Cindy Ho Parent Volunteer Advisory Committee --
Ms Amy Lieb Parent volunteer advisory committee Exofficio
Ms Teresa Marx Parent Volunteer Advisory Committee Exofficio
Mr Kenneth Phesay Parent Volunteer Advisory Committee Exofficio
Ms Brenda Ulrich Parent Volunteer Advisory Committee Exofficio

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 5
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 10
Board Meeting Attendance % 85%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Under Development
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 20%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Seven individuals have recently been recruited for the new Making Music Matters! Board of Advisors.  Our first board meeting will be held on November 30, 2015.  In the past, the program was advised by the Headmasters/Administrators of the Making Music Matters! schools. Naomi Krakow, Ohrenberger School Principal and Edward Puliafico, Beethoven School Prinicipal, who both have been involved with the program for years, and took a leadership role in providing assistance with program governance, management, and direction.  It is my hope that all seven board members will be engaged and active in guiding and governing Making Music Matters.
Making Music Matters! Executive Director Pamela Allen Hunter replaced Program director, Martha Watson, in September 2015.  She will work with the Boston Public School Visual and Performing Arts Department to align Making Music Matters! instructional content with District Arts goals and standards.
The Parent Volunteer Advisory Committee serves as an idea bank, communicating with the two Parent Program Managers about fundraising efforts, involving the community, and program improvements.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $227,898.00
Projected Expense $222,150.00
Form 990s

2014 990 - BEDF

2013 990 - BEDF

2012 990 - BEDF

2011 990 - BEDF

Audit Documents

2013 BEDF Financial Statement

2012 BEDF Financial Statement

2011 BEDF Financial Statement

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Revenue $176,089 $227,053 $221,215
Total Expenses $198,509 $212,288 $208,900

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$154,000 $209,000 $192,250
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions -- -- --
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $15,415 $15,870 $14,965
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind $2,000 $2,000 $2,000
Other $4,674 $183 $12,000

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Program Expense $136,342 $149,610 $143,835
Administration Expense $40,000 $40,000 $40,000
Fundraising Expense $22,167 $22,678 $25,065
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.89 1.07 1.06
Program Expense/Total Expenses 69% 70% 69%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 14% 11% 13%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Assets $29,011 $14,245 $0
Current Assets $29,011 $14,245 $0
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Total Net Assets $29,011 $14,245 $0

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities inf inf nan

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% nan%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Making Music Matters! (MMM!) is fiscally sponsored by the Boston Education Development Foundation Inc. (BEDF), the non-profit foundation of the Boston Public Schools Department. As such, BEDF's IRS Form 990s and Audits are posted above. Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization, and reflect Making Music Matters! data only.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?


2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


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5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?