Our Story

Who knew that a movie made 28 years ago would become the catalyst for the creation of a namesake non-profit, changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of kids by giving them access to learn and play music in school – keeping music education alive and strong across the country?

The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation was inspired by the acclaimed motion picture Mr. Holland’s Opus, the story of the profound effect a dedicated music teacher had on generations of students. Michael Kamen, who wrote the score for the film, started the foundation in 1996 as his commitment to the future of music education.

Michael didn’t live long enough to see the full results of his dream, but his legacy will deepen each time a child has the opportunity to play music through our work.

The Foundation donates high-quality musical instruments to deserving, under-funded music programs, and provides an array of support services to school districts. By increasing the school’s inventory of quality, playable instruments, music teachers are given the tools they need to deliver a quality music education to students who want to learn. In collaboration with committed school districts, the Foundation’s investments are strategically placed as part of a K–12 district-wide plan to achieve positive and lasting results. Generations of students will benefit.

Music’s role in a child’s education is key in engaging them, sparking their creativity and unique voice, and improving their overall enjoyment and success in school. A vibrant, music-rich curriculum makes an immense difference in their lives.

Today, when millions of at-risk kids fall through the cracks and the gap widens in educational opportunities, we know that The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation will be keeping music alive for them now, and for many years to come. Thank you for your interest and support.