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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.


Early this year, Colby Giannella sent Michael Allen Harrison a video of him performing. He began coming to Michael for coaching sessions and Michael realized that Cpolby had been learning to play and practicing on an electric piano.

Colby was invited to be a part of Ten Grands on March 31st, 2018 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. On stage, in front of an audience of 2,800 people, Play it Forward surprised Colby by gifting him a Henry Miller Grand Piano.

Flute For Ella

This is Ella at her first middle school band recital. She and her brother were adopted out of foster care by their grandparents almost a year ago. Ella’s grandparents couldn’t afford instrument rental or purchase and we had a flute that was looking for a good home. Ella is now thriving in her school’s band with her very own flute. 

Reaching Seattle

Beautiful upright Kawaii donated to a Seattle family. The search for a local piano teacher connected us to Classic Piano Co. who was impressed by Play It Forward and connected us to the owner of the Boston that went to Mollala High School Band and then the Rawlings that went to Molalla High School Choir.

For Mollala High School

2009 like new Boston Grand Piano donated to Molalla High School Band. The donor also gifted $1500 to purchase a cover for the piano and a piano dolly so that it can be moved about the school.

Meet Ruben

Ruben Flores – Hernandez, a recent graduate of McKay High School in Salem, is our spotlight student this summer. He has worked hard to overcome significant obstacles this past year, and through it all, he has shown that passion and hard work will prevail.

Michelle Tonkin, a former board member of Michael Allen Harrison’s Snowman Foundation, worked hard to inspired Capitol Auto Group to create a scholarship fund in support of Ruben’s talent. Play it Forward, found a teacher for him and presented him with his very own piano. We then watched him finish out his senior year at Salem’s McKAy High School. He is not only an incredibly talented pianist, but has a natural gift for mathematics.

This young man has long been impressing his orchestra teacher Jim Charnhlom, along with his other teachers, so it was no surprise that he was accepted at all ten universities he’d applied to, and received scholarship offers for his musical ability.

Recently, Ruben has had to face significant health challenges, but they are not stopping him. Despite suffering from diminishing eyesight and hearing loss, Ruben’s attitude is filled with optimism and a strong commitment to success. He’s been learning brail over the past year, and continues to find ways to improve his memory to compensate for the loss of some of his vision and hearing.

In a news story on KOIN (watch it here) reporter Jenni Hanson had a chance to ask Ruben about how he is coping with his health issues.

“Through all of this I realized that my vision impairment, my hearing impairment, isn’t a disability,” he said, “but more of a challenge that I can and will overcome.”

We have been honored to be a part of Ruben’s musical life, and will stay tuned for the next chapter in his very bright future.

Seattle Giving Back

2006 Rawlings 7’
Grand Piano donated March 2017
to Molalla High School Choir.

Children Deserve Music Education

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What WE Don't Ask


We do not ask for any financial information

We do not ask for an audition

We do not require years of experience






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What is the students current playing level

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