Published on March 27th, 2018 | by Darren Paltrowitz0
March 28th Is “Music Unites Day”; Hype Talks With Tim Storey & Music Unites’ Michelle Edgar
As part of Music In Our Schools Month, Music Unites Day will be taking place on Wednesday, March 28th. Fully supporting by H&M, Guitar Center and iHeartRadio station REAL 92.3, Music Unites Day was started up b Music Unites founder and executive director Michelle Edgar. On March 28th, the Compton Unified School District will be hosting a series of 90-minute educational workshops, as including Randy Jackson, Tim Storey, John Lindhal, Tone Stith, and JD McCrary.
To learn more about Music Unites Day, I spoke with Ms. Edgar — who is also an agent at ICM Partners and the founder of The XX Project — and Mr. Storey on behalf of The Hype Magazine. More on Music Unites, its mission and upcoming events can be found online at www.musicunites.org.
How did you get involved with the Music Unites Day cause?
Michelle Edgar: Music has always been instrumental in my life and as a trained concert pianist, I know first-hand the impact it can have — it has literally shaped who I am. Everything I had always went to my music education, and I wanted to share that same gift with students and schools who needed the support and resources. I started Music Unites over 10 years ago to inspire and empower young people through the power of music. I wanted to start a non-profit that funded sustainable after-school music programs and provided students with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Our Music-Versity programs teach kids about the careers in the music business with access to industry leaders as well as artists. Over the years, our students have performed at Carnegie Hall, the Intrepid Museum, United Nations, Tribeca Film Festival, to the Annie premiere, and visiting companies including Paramount, Spotify, Google and The Village Studios.
Tim Storey: Michelle invited me to be part of this event. I’ve always believed in empowering dreamers, no matter their age or environment. Music United Day is more than just an opportunity to motivate a group of students for one day, it’s an opportunity to shift how they see the world and their potential to be a world shaker and history maker. To utilize whatever gift they have been given to live a life beyond what they could dream or imagine and to be the hope within their family and their community.
What will you be doing as part of Music Unites Day?
Michelle Edgar: Music Unites day serves as the kick-off to our commitment to reviving music education and restoring music programs in schools throughout the Compton Unified School District. In celebration of Music In Our Schools Month, the Compton Unified School District has given us a day to share music with our schools bringing artists and industry leaders to empower youth and to unveil our Music Unites Academy programs. This is a scalable initiative that will touch 2,100 students, and our goal is to provide music education to all students across Compton followed by bringing music back into the schools across the nation. We are very excited to share with our students some of the exciting performances and panel discussions by industry leaders including Randy Jackson, Tim Storey, JD McCrary, Tone Stith, and John Lindahl.
Tim Storey: I’ll be speaking to students throughout the day at Kelly Elementary and Centennial High School.
Is there a goal you have for Music Unites Day?
Michelle Edgar: Our goal is to set an example for the students and show them the opportunity and transformative power music can have in their lives. We hope that each student who experiences Music Unites Day will sign up for our Music Unites Academy and our after-school programs, which will range from instrumental/band, beats production, choir and guitar programs, thanks to the very generous donation of our partners — Guitar Center and H&M — who are supporting us to make it possible.
Tim Storey: People come up to me all over the world and share their stories of hearing me speak to them in South Africa, Sweden, Atlanta, Compton, and more. They tell me how my words spoke to them and shifted their perspective for life. My goal is to run into these students years later and hear how this day was a transforming point in their life, how our words not only brought hope, but the expectation for a successful life for them and their families.
Aside from Music Unites Day, what is coming up for you?
Michelle Edgar: We are committed to uniting the city of Compton through the power of music and having it serve as a shining example that we can replicate across the country in other cities where schools/students can use our help in putting music education back at the forefront. In order to do this, we are also focused on finding the right support to scale our Music Unites Academy and Music-Versity programs. It is important to find the right partners and funders.
Tim Storey: I’m always working on projects. Besides speaking and coaching, I’m working on a couple television projects, a blockbuster movie, and even a Broadway play.
On the topic of music, what is the last concert you went to for fun?
Michelle Edgar: As a music agent, I go to shows all the time to support my clients as well as finding new talent to develop. I live, breathe, sleep and love music. One of my music highlights this year was seeing my client JD McCrary perform with Childish Gambino at the Grammys for the first time.
Tim Storey: I saw Dave Chappelle and John Mayer at the Forum a couple months ago and I was just tag teaming with Yolanda Adams this week in Texas.
Finally, any last words for the kids?
Michelle Edgar: I would just say that it doesn’t matter if you want to be the next Yo-Yo Ma, music education is important. We recognize the power it has to transform lives helping to build confidence, practice teamwork and improve focus and because we know the value of music, we are working hard to ensure that they never have to go without it.
Tim Storey: If you don’t do something with life, life will do something with you. Accept your potential for greatness, work hard every day, study those who are doing it right, and build healthy relationships. It’s great to dream, but what you do while you’re awake is what matters.