Music Education for All. No Strings Attached.

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Mission

Music Education For All.  No Strings Attached.

Nearly 20 years ago, the City of Portland passed a measure that cut critical funding to music education in our public schools. Having benefited from free music education in public schools, that eventually led to a successful career as a composer and pianist, Michael Allen Harrison could not watch this happen silently. Play It Forward, affectionately known as PIF was born. Play It Forward distributes gently used instruments gifted by donors to students and music programs throughout the Portland Metropolitan Community.

Music has the power to change the life of one child, that we all know.  But the power to create goes far beyond the development of one individual student. It ripples out into the community spreading itself without limitation, for music is a respecter of no person.   And that may be its greatest power, that its boundaries are indeed limitless.

As we continue to give the gift of music to our community, we see students thrive and music programs grow and we invite you to partner with us.   Your generous donations of instruments and scholarship funds will go to help countless students in ways that we can only imagine.

Student Story Highlight

“Gus started playing on a toy Christmas piano when he was little, his parents soon noticed he had an ear for picking out a tune. Thanks to the gift of a new piano and lessons his progression has been phenomenal!”

Gus is a 5th grade student at Kairos and very passionate about music and playing the piano. He’s inspired by the classics, as well as music in his favorite video games, movies and TV shows. After playing around on a toy Christmas piano when he was little, his parents noticed that he seemed to have an ear for picking out a tune and sought out a way for him to learn more. Now, he has a piano in his home, which he uses for practice for his lessons and he’s also playing for family and friends, who love to hear his talent.

When he heard that Play It Forward was offering piano lessons at school AND the gift of a piano of his very own, he was amazed. He and his parents immediately applied and he began taking lessons in the Fall of 2018. His progression has been phenomenal and we are so proud of the commitment he has made to his learning, the commitment of Ashley, his teacher and of our community that makes all of this happen for students like Gus.

“The reason I wanna play piano is because I love music. It makes me forget all of my troubles. I love to be creative and express myself with music.”

~ Play It Forward Student

I want to lear how to play the piano because I go to church and we play a lot of piano. We only have one person that plays the piano and when he’s not there no one play’s the piano so I’m trying to help.

~ PIF Student

“I want to play piano for so many reasons… I get anxious sometimes and when I do, my mom and I meditate. I want to learn how to play piano because I think it might be calming, like meditating… Playing piano would allow me to express my emotions musically with my own unique flair… and because my dog has a bed in the living room and I could play for my dog.”

~ PIF Student

Instrument Donation

The instrument gathering dust in your closet could be one child’s ticket into the musical education they have dreamed of. Find out how you can make your hassle free donation today.

Monetary Donation

Your monetary donation to Play It Forward makes you a part of the miracle that is bringing instruments into the homes of young and deserving musicians.

Playtime to Phenomenal

"Gus started playing on a toy Christmas piano when he was little, his parents soon noticed he had an ear for picking out a tune. Thanks to the gift of a new piano and lessons his progression has been phenomenal!" Gus is a 5th grade student at Kairos and very...

Pianos gifted by Play it Forward change lives

The gift of music can change a child's life.That was the case for Sandra Gangle, 74, of Salem. "I was a lonely child, and I was somewhat troubled," she said. "My parents had gone through a separation of their marriage when I was 7½ and there was a lot of...

Play it Foward Featured in KGW’s Giving Tuesday Article

... Another local nonprofit aimed at helping kids is Play it Forward. It's an offshoot of musician Michael Allen Harrison's Snowman Foundation. That nonprofit donates money to musical programs and gently used musical instruments to kids. “Music is a way out for many...