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School Music Partnerships

Ayer-Shirley Public Schools


In response to severe budget cuts in the underserved towns of Ayer and Shirley over the past 10 years, Indian Hill Music has focused on providing an afternoon music program for 4th and 5th graders at Page Hilltop Elementary in Ayer and Lura A. White Elementary in Shirley. Because there is no longer a band program in either of the elementary schools, this has a direct effect on the enrollment and vitality of the middle school and high school band programs. Having a supplementary music education program in the elementary schools will help provide a strong foundation as young musicians are prepared for and progress through middle and high school.

Since 2007, Indian Hill has offered instrumental and early childhood music instruction, professional concerts, instrument demos, and access to all of Indian Hill Music School's student benefits to hundreds of students. Special events have included free concerts by world-renowned flutist Werner John, legendary guitarist Eliot Fisk, and our own professional Orchestra of Indian Hill.

The instrumental music instruction program features afterschool group lessons ($8/each) for 4th and 5th graders on clarinet, flute, sax, trumpet, violin, and drums. Indian Hill also offsets the cost of instrument rental and offers generous scholarship aid to families who cannot afford even the modest fees charged for the program.

To support this program, Indian Hill Music has raised over $150,000 (including $20,000 from North Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation).

Ayer Student

"Indian Hill Music's outreach programs are outstanding. I can honestly say that Indian Hill's presence and involvement in our community has been essential to keeping arts alive in a working class town."

Member of the
Ayer Cultural Council

"We are very grateful that my daughter has had the opportunity to study flute with Sue Gleason. She is a top-notch teacher, with an approach that is wise and encouraging. After just a few lessons with Sue, my daughter was able to read and play simple melodies, which helped to keep her excited and motivated about learning to play! Taking flute lessons through Indian Hill has also given my daughter a sense of pride and has helped her develop the confidence to perform in front of a group."
S. Anders, Shirley, MA
Parent of Ayer-Shirley School Music
Partnership student

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