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Crowdfunding for the Classroom

Jeff Coffin and Yamaha take to the road in support of music educators

Eighty percent of teachers say that funding is the main hurdle they face in music education. With often limited funding from schools and districts, music teachers spend an average of $945 of their own money every year on essential music supplies for their classrooms.

Jeff Coffin, professor and saxophonist with the Dave Matthews Band, is addressing the issue in partnership with Yamaha. He recently went on the road with the Yamaha Band & Orchestral division to raise support for school music programs, surprising students at his alma mater, Spaulding High School in Rochester, New Hampshire, where he spoke and performed at an event to promote teacher and citizen donor involvement in, an online crowdfunding platform.

After encouraging students to apply the values learned in music classes, Coffin presented the school with a new Yamaha YX-500F xylophone. In addition, Yamaha donated $10,000 in Coffin’s name to — monies that Coffin will disburse to public school teachers to fund music education projects for the new school year.

“As a Yamaha Performing Artist, I have been given the opportunity and potential to share the many benefits of music education with future generations of students and educators,” Coffin says. “I am forever grateful for the meaningful support and friendship.”

Currently in the second year of its #MusicEssentials partnership with, Yamaha has donated more than $250,000 in matching funds, generating $500,000 worth of supplies for classrooms around the United States.

To find out how crowdfunding can help your program, visit


Magazine cover.

This article originally appeared in the 2017 V4 issue of Yamaha SupportED. To see more back issues, find out about Yamaha resources for music educators, or sign up to be notified when the next issue is available, click here.

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