Play It Forward
Michael Allen Harrison started the Snowman Foundation and Play It Forward in 1999 to support music education in Portland, Oregon. His efforts have spread across the state of Oregon and up to Seattle, WA. His vision to support music education created Ten Grands as a fundraising concert and this concert alone has raised several million dollars in donated instruments AND money to support music programs in our community and beyond over the last 18 years.
We are so thankful for his vision to Play It Forward!!
What Drives Us
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.
In recent years, Play It Forward has expanded its scope of work, and began offering music lesson scholarships to individual kids, as well lessons to children in schools during school hours and after school.
Additionally, Play It Forward helps organize Ten Grands for Kids, a free concert at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall intended for children from the Portland Metro area. It is a live show featuring ten grand pianos placed on a concert hall stage and played by nationally and locally renowned pianists.
This concert has inspired many to begin to learn the piano, and for accomplished young artists, Ten Grands has offered performance opportunities, which have been life changing.
Ten Grands for Kids allows Play It Forward to fulfill its mission of providing exposure to music and experience of live music to children from all walks of life. Play It Forward is honored to serve its community and to support the developing and thriving lives of children by removing the barriers that may exist between them and the musical education which is rightfully theirs.
Hours of Lessons Gifted
Never at a cost for a student
Our Board of Directors
"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...
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...
... 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...