Music is in all of our lives everyday. It has the power to make us dance, cry, laugh, and inspire like no other human invention to date. It is one of the greatest forms of creativity in the world and its power is endless. Below are ten ventures, both for profit and nonprofit that are impacting the world everyday through music. Check them out and please share any other amazing music project in the world that deserves to be on this list.
Playing For Change was born in 2002 as a shared vision between co-founders, Mark Johnson and Whitney Kroenke, to hit the streets of America with a mobile recording studio and cameras in search of inspiration and the heartbeat of the people. This musical journey resulted in the award-winning documentary, “A Cinematic Discovery of Street Musicians.” In 2005, Mark Johnson was walking in Santa Monica, California, when he heard the voice of Roger Ridley singing “Stand By Me.” Roger had so much soul and conviction in his voice, and Mark approached him about performing “Stand By Me” as a Song Around the World. Roger agreed, and when Mark returned with recording equipment and cameras he asked Roger, “With a voice like yours, why are you singing on the streets?” Roger replied, “Man I’m in the Joy business, I come out to be with the people.” Ever since that day the Playing For Change crew has traveled the world recording and filming musicians, creating Songs Around the World, and building a global family. Using the universal language of music, Playing For Change is for the people and endeavors to unite humanity, one heart and one song at a time.
Last Triumph is a certified B Corporation that seeks change locally and worldwide for people and businesses to operate on a triple bottom line model for the sake of the planet, people and profit, all equally. Last Triumph donates 5% of revenue to non-profits and volunteer hundreds of hours annually to improve local and worldwide communities. Their facility and recording studio runs on 100% renewable energy, uses LED bulbs to save energy, and low-flow faucets and toilets to conserve resources. Last Triumph also compost and recycle over 90% of materials that enter their facilities.
LSTN was founded with a singular purpose: to change lives through the power of music. Proceeds from sales of all LSTN products go towards giving hearing aids to people in need worldwide through their charity partner, Starkey Hearing Foundation. Over the past 4 years, LSTN has helped over 22,000 people worldwide hear for the first time. This was possible due to LSTN customers purchasing the companies high quality headphones and accessories.
The Treefort Music Fest is a multi-venue, emerging artist music festival in downtown Boise, Idaho. Treefort Music Festival believes in community and has made a commitment to be an environmentally responsible festival, for the community which includes their staff, festival participants, performers, sponsors, local businesses, Boise city and beyond. The Treefort team believes great festivals don’t have to come at such a high cost to our environment, so the team strives strive each year to reduce waste, reduce non-renewable energy use and increase the opportunities for reuse. The festivals mission includes you, the festival participant to be a part of Treefort in their effort to be green and to take the challenge and pledge to be green not only during Treefort but year round. Treefort became a certified B Corp in 2015.
Recent Shark Tank contestant, Vibes, the maker of Vibes Hi-Fidelity Earplugs (reusable earplugs that allow you to protect your hearing while still hearing clearly), has teamed up with Hear the World Foundation to give the gift of hearing to children in need. Every Vibes earplugs purchase includes a direct contribution to Hear the World Foundation, helping empower individuals with hearing loss to fully experience their world and live independent, fulfilling lives. Vibes is currently funding a Hear the World Foundation project in Lima, Peru that will screen 30,000 children for hearing impairment, and will provide those in need with free medical care and hearing aids. Some of the children screened and treated have been able to hear for the first time in their lives!
Musicians on Call brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities. It’s no secret that music can help you feel better. The mission of Musicians on Call is to bring music to the people who need it most – hospital patients. By delivering live, in-room performances to patients undergoing treatment or unable to leave their beds, the organization adds a dose of joy to life in a healthcare facility. Since 1999, Musicians On Call volunteer musicians have performed for over 600,000 patients and their families.
The founding friend group of Guitars for Glory (GFG) puts faith and music first. Their goal to, “put guitars and instruments in the hands of churches, schools, missionaries, and orphanages” has become a reality with the donation of over 450 instruments in 50 countries since their formation in 2013. Their key partners are organizations across the world with the greatest presence and understanding of local communities who can identify sites most in need of a donation.
In addition to these partnerships, Guitars for Glory seeks relationships with churches, corporations, and even charitable individuals. Financial support from donors is the means by which they can further their operations, expand to serve more communities, and offer additional technical support and training for those in need of music lessons. Donors can also shop the online store for GFG merchandise or subscribe to a monthly coffee delivery to benefit the GFG mission.
Meet Magic Room Band(MRB), the only line of eco-friendly, 100% biodegradable drumsticks and guitar picks in the music accessory market today. The bags and boxes MRB use are also reusable. The Magic Room Brand aims to inspire creativity with a fearless focus on high-quality products, design-forward thinking, environmental responsibility, and personal relationships. Magic Room Brand gear is primarily made of bamboo – considered by many to be the most versatile material on the planet. The best bamboo on the planet is found in Jiangsu and Shanghai, so MRB has partnered with their local master craftsmen to design, test, refine, and perfect all the drumsticks and guitar picks.
Cords for Music is the first fashion brand to focus on music education as its social component. Inspired by companies such as Toms, Warby Parker, Harry’s and Apolis, Cords for Music keeps as a core value the need to give back. With this in mind, Cords for Music was founded as a social enterprise with the idea that we could sell beautifully designed products with a portion of each sale going to help fund music education initiatives in public schools and under served communities.
Meet care Care2Rock, a socially innovative online music lesson marketplace and platform. Care2Rock pairs up skilled, vetted and background checked music teachers with paying students for live, online music lessons, on a variety of instruments. Care2Rock teachers also agree to mentor a child in foster care – or a child who is hospitalized – for a year, for free! Care2Rock is also teaming up with Texas CASA (an org that advocates for effective public policy for children in the child protection system) on the launch of Computers for CASA, a recent Texas bill that allows foster youth to receive computer equipment through the state’s surplus supply. Care2Rock will be offering free lessons on the site to Texas CASA foster children who have received computers through this program.
Musicians without Borders uses the power of music to bridge divides, connect communities, and heal the wounds of war. Musicians Without Borders support thousands of people affected by war and armed conflict each year through workshop programs, performances, training, conferences, manuals, videos and tools in community music, music therapy and non-violence in the Balkans, the Middle East, Central-East Africa, and Northern Ireland.
Check out my album and songs across all streaming services. Every sale and royalty from song streams will go to impact projects around the world. Help support the movement of impacting the world through music by simply listening to songs! Pretty cool.
Grant is the founder of Causeartist, one of the most influential impact business platforms in the world. Since 2013, Causeartist has been read in over 200 countries. Grant has personally interviewed over 600 impact entrepreneurs from around the world, highlighting innovations in ethical fashion, climate change, ethical technology, impact investing, and sustainable travel.