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Making Music Matter For Kids Inc

The Founder of Making Music Matter For Kids, Inc.

Hey, I’m Lance. Music is my religion & philanthropy is my law. I’m on a mission to shake up the music education industry and get the word out to the masses that music does matter. I was born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey, USA, by two crazy, loving, hard-working parents best described as the salt of the earth. If there is one thing I have learned from my parents, it is that a true act of good will always spark another! 

The Guitar Pick of Destiny 

1965, at three years old, I was sitting around the tube with my mom, dad, and older brother. A guitarist named Glen Campbell pulls this magic out of his pocket and starts striking the strings, putting me into a crazy dance seizer. Filled with curiosity, I needed that magic! Later that week Dad brought home my first guitar pic, truly a pic of destiny,

Growing Up

 I never did well in school and always got into trouble. By the summer of 69, we moved from Paterson to Sussex, NJ, where I repeated the second grade. I struggled with academics, and those standardized tests became a game of connecting the dots. I didn’t know why school was so hard for me, but music was a different story!

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My Mom and Dads Wedding Day

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       Me and my older brother   

Throughout the 70s, I began playing in bands at school dances, talent shows, street fairs, and crazy parties. From 1978 to 1979 I performed with Guitarist Dan McBride, AKA Dirty Dan from the band Sha Na Na playing the cover seen throughout the Tri-State Area. School at this point in my life was becoming a pastime.1980 life was great, completely out of control, and loving every minute of it, I was on my way. Little did I see heading straight toward me the train of consequences that landed me in some serious hot water and in front of my first spiritual adviser Judge Quinn. Little did I feel this way but thanks to him my life was about to make a complete 360.

At 17, Judge Quinn ordered me to three years of probation and to attend school to improve my grades. My music teacher's influence led to the creation of a five-day-a-week music program, 101 Rock Band, which helped me finish with high honors.

After high school, in 1985 I became a dad to my first son Lance. My Dad got me a job on the docks of Newark NJ, and continued to pursue music. In 1989, I had the opportunity to record with musicians from Billy Joel's band, Alice Cooper, and The Blues Brothers.

In 1995, my daughter Kels was born, and shortly after, my son Jake. Now a single dad of three, I loved being a dad. In 1998, I landed an eighteen-month national touring gig with an AC/DC tribute band, living the rock and roll dream.

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   Me in High School Commercial Art 1981   

By 2000 The music industry had completely changed and it was time for Plan B. become domesticated, put some stability into my life, and settle down. So I bought an apartment building and got into the stock market and by 2002 things got out of control and it took another two years to climb out of that hole of depression. Domestication what was I thinking LOL.

In 2005, I started teaching at a local music store in northern NJ. I fell in love with teaching music and in 2008, with the help of my partner Rockin Robin, we organized our first six-week summer program called Garage Band School of Rock. The event was a great success with over two hundred friends and family members in attendance in a barn. The atmosphere was amazing and special, with kids counting down for the event to start, it was like the countdown to New Year's Eve, and the coolest thing was the event was 2008 on August 8th at 8pm 888@8  

By 2009 Garage Band School of Rock's six-week music program grew from the first year. Over 1000 fans, students ranging from 7 to 17 years old. We gave each student a nickname even Rocking Robin. In 2010 I moved to Pennsylvania with Robin, together we created a two-week summer program at Woodloch Pines.

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   2009 Garage Band School of Rock. Thats me 3rd from the right looking like one of the kids   

2010 came I started Rock School School of Music

in the Poconos. After the first year we were open we held our 2011 yearly event this time at the Wane Co. fire department.  Many of my previous students worked with the new kids as mentors, it worked out great. A reunion with the AC/DC tribute band headlined the event for the kids to open for. Rock School was becoming a big hit throughout North East Pennsylvania and a great attraction at the region Wallenpaupack yearly Wally Lake Fest. 

Why did I create Making Music Matter For Kids?

Local School district spiraled into bankruptcy and created drastic budget cuts, eliminating Kindergarten 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-grade music education, what a crime; cutting back on a pivotal part of a child's education. Due to the schools cutback a flood of families registered to Rock Schools School of Music in need of music education for their children. Hard-working families began telling me of their struggles financially, just to have well-rounded education for their children and I listened, understanding their concerns I conducted a needs analysis, formed comity and prepared a fundraiser campaign in support of creating a 501c3 not for profit: Making Music Matter For Kids Inc,

I didn't have a clue that I was becoming a philanthropist !

 Free summer music program for kids and community event. My main focus was on charity 100% charity. Everything turned out great the kids had a great time the Lake Region took to our turn out and everything was a great success. Rock School was becoming a big hit throughout North East Pennsylvania and a great attraction at the region Wallenpaupack yearly Wally Lake Fest. 

After the August 30th, 2015 event, I drafted a mission statement, crafted a unique sponsorship proposal package and, launched the campaign on January 2, 2016. By August 2 2016 I achieved tax-exemption under the IRS Section 501c3 status weeks before our August 27 2016 Summer event

Rock School 2012 Lake Wally Fest

Rock School Lake Wally Fest 2012

Making Music Matter For Kids 2016

   2016 Making Music Matter For Kids 501c3    

Making Music Matter For Kids 2015

  2015 Making Music Matter For Kids   

Making Music Matter For Kids 2017

    2017 Clarks Summit Summer Event    

Clarks Summits Making Music Matter For Kids

After the 2016 we decided to move closer tp the city of Scranton a small town called Clarks Summit, I opened the school and immediately received alot of attention. The space was a little bigger than our studio in Green Town and close enough for our existing students to make the trip for their lesson. 

After two year of Clarks Summit I decided that it was time to go fowar with my plans to open a performing studio that would host major artist events to sustain the not for profit organization. So I did just that. 

2019 - 2020 THE PLACE @ Making Music Matter For KIds. Performing art studio

Performing Art Venue, humble begging

Before and After Photos 

THE PLACE - Ribbon cutting with the mayor of Scranton PA

  Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with Scranton Mayor  

THE PLACE That's was MMMFK Scranton PA

  Kids Bands Performance 2020 @ THE PLACE  

In the short period we were opened the kids within our community were benefiting. Deciding to pack it up was not an easy one, I knew that I wasn't alone during the pandemic, how many large corporations closed up for good. It was scary but I knew with God's help I would survive. 

Here is what we worked so hard to create within six months after opening first came the pandemic and during the shutdown our landlord told us we had to move due to corporate America moving in and they needed the space. Not to get into the messy details the Market Place at Steamtown in Scranton did everything they could to keep us from reopening, but for me, it really was a great achievement unfortunately for the many kids that could have benefitted from our program would not, So we moved back to Clarks Summit regrouped and planned for a block party once the reopened. But what a beautiful place we created such a shame. 

The Pace under construction

2019 building the stage with  Artie and his Dad

Making Music Matter For Kids 2019

  Teen Night @ THE PLACE  

THE PLACE view from sound booth

  THE BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOS  

The Bigging of The End  of Making Music City In Penncylvinaia 2020 - 2023

Electric Music City Studio

Electric Music City Studio   

Electric Music City Studio 2021
Making Music Matter For Kids  2022
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Back to Clarks Summit PA 2020 The COVID-19 Pandemic Nightmare Still in Effect

While we were still technically at the Steamtown Mall they were doing everything in their power to keep me out since they would never recoup their money, plus I was advised not to go forward and that they would stop at nothing to keep me out. Honestly, I didn't even know if we would have survived doing live events due to the pandemic.

Back to The Drawing Board

During the shutdown, I organized a block party, started construction on a live stream room, and started doing instrument repairs and music consignments. Students began to come back to lessons and things were transitioning back to somewhat normalcy.

Clarks Summit Shuts Down Making Music Matter For Kids Block Party

This was a complete disaster, days before the event the Clarks Summit police department contacted us threatening to have me arrested if I continued to have our Free Summer Fan Appreciation Event. Click on the link above for full details . The kids were completely disappointed, I was done but I just didn't know it yet. During this time I was still completing the live stream room, I was getting a lot of new students and trying everything I could to make things work. On July 19 2023 there was a flood in our studio, it didn't affect any of the equipment and when the ceiling was opened there was a big problem and not go into detail I was just done with doing business in Pennsylvania.

    Recap From 2008 t0 2024   

I have met so many great people during this journey, I have taught hundreds of kids music, most of them from young children until they have completed high school, and loved every minute of what I have done and will continue to do. One of my biggest regrets was having to leave my students after deciding to move back to NJ. Throughout my time I have learned to take each difficulty and turn it into something extraordinary and rewarded by charity, God's greatest gift was granting me the opportunity to share my talent and making music matter for kids. 

Lance and Jake

   One of my high school guitar students helping me pack up the moving truck to move to NJ   

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