From Lil Nas X and Jawsh 685 to Wejdene, the TikTok application has helped many musicians get their break. Now, America's Save the Music Foundation is putting the platform to use as a means of raising awareness among the app's 850 million users about the importance of music education.
At a time when over five million public school children in the US don't have access to music education, the Save The Music Foundation is concerned that this figure could be increasing sharply due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Right now we are facing an existential moment for music education. Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, school budgets are being spread too thin, new safety guidelines are creating schedule restrictions for music classes, and many students still remain learning from home. For the first time in years, we literally need to save the music," the foundation explains in a news release.
As a result, the Save the Music Foundation launched the #MusicSaves campaign on TikTok in September to raise awareness among the app's young users about the "powerful social, emotional, and cultural benefits" that music education provides. The initiative has been met with evident success on the video sharing platform, where it counts over 164.4 million views through educational and spoof videos.
Examples include a video featuring The Roots guitarist, Captain Kirk Douglas, covering The Beatles' “While My Guitar Gently Weeps," and a video of the Grammy-nominated songwriter, Ross Copperman, talking about the importance of the music education he received at school.
"Whether it's changing lives, or just brightening your day, #MusicSaves. So show us how music changed your life, and support Save The Music, an organization dedicated to supporting music education in schools across the country," the Save the Music Foundation explains on TikTok.
As well as raising awareness among TikTok users about the importance of music in school teaching programs, the Save the Music Foundation has also launched a new Music Education Resources hub. This is home to over 100 music teaching and learning resources for educators, parents and students, to help keep people practicing music in spite of the pandemic.
While music education in schools has been greatly impacted by the public health crisis, certain rookie musicians used their months under lockdown to hone their skills. Many people invested in pianos and guitars -- so much so that instrument manufacturer Fender told the New York Times that 2020 looks set to be a "record year."
"It will be the biggest year of sales volume in Fender history, record days of double-digit growth, e-commerce sales and beginner gear sales. I never would have thought we would be where we are today if you asked me back in March," the chief executive of the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, Andy Mooney, told the American newspaper.