Testimonies And Stories

According to Dr. Margaret Martin the idea for the harmony project began one afternoon when Dr. Martin was shopping at her local produce market. Dr. Martin was picking her food items as usual, then heard a violin being played by a young boy. She noticed a decent size crowd around the young talent. As she looked on, a group of teen Hispanic gang members, wearing all blue “uniforms” and tear drops tattooss were stopped dead in their tracks listening to the boys music. The gang members stood and watched the boy play his violin. The gang members reached into their pockets and placed money in the boy’s violin case. At that moment Dr. Martin broke down, and realized that these gang members would rather be doing what that child is doing, but they never had the opportunity. That is the foundation of the Harmony Project; making music accessible to everyone. When these children learn to play an instrument, they feel the power of the instrument, and want to give back to the program. Music changes their lives forever. (Martin)


In another example provided by Dr. Martin, an 11 year old student that entered the project was deaf until age 8. She was being taught English and was embaresssed in how she spoke. After a few years in the program, she performed in front of 18,000 people. I was very moving for all involved, and showed the importance of music programs like the Harmoney Project. She graduated in the top 10% of her class, received a collegiate scholarship, and is now in a pre-medicine program. The Harmony Project truly saved her life. (Martin)

Many others that have graduated from the program become successful and go on to open similar after school music programs in different comunities across the U.S. Their first hand experience of how important music was to them has encouraged them to return the favor.

Harmony Projects founder Margaret Martin and seventh-grader Kiana Coronado-Ziadie receive an award from First Lady Michelle Obama.

Justin Jennings

Links to Other Subsections
A Nation Sings Out
Building a Bolder Boulder
The History of Preventing Gang Involvement

Works Cited

White House. Michelle Obama gives Harmony Projects a round of applause. Digital image. Los Angeles Times. 4 Nov. 2009. Web. 3 Dec. 2010.

"Speaking with Margaret Martin." Telephone interview. 02 Dec. 2010.