One in 14 American children has a parent who has spent time in jail or is currently behind bars. These children may experience the trauma of separation, abandonment, homelessness, and continued or deepening poverty. This often results in behavioral issues and substandard academic performance.


SWAN: Scaling Walls a Note at a Time is a support group for children affected by parental incarceration and provides free music lessons, ensemble training, performance opportunities and mentoring.

Why Music?

Research underscores the importance of music on academics as it improves focus, sharpens reasoning skills and raises IQ levels. Music relieves stress, improves emotional awareness and social skills.

Music transforms children’s lives, placing them on a course towards success.

SWAN students learn to be disciplined, to work as a team, and to develop confidence. Through ensemble training children experience the power and joy of creating music together. They develop positive group identities and skills which help them excel in school and beyond.

Serving the community through performances enables students to experience the joy of giving and the value of caring for others. It encourages them to make positive life choices and to impact their communities for good.

How can you help? Your dollars provide our students with instruments, music lessons, performance opportunities, and mentoring

“I think we sounded great and can’t wait for the next performance!”

Blake, SWAN Camp Student 2018



Latest News

FIG Lancaster Announces SWAN as 2019 Social Mission Partner
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It is an honor to be selected as Fig Lancaster’s Social Mission Partner for 2019. What an amazing privilege and opportunity to share about our program with the Lancaster community and beyond. We look forward to collaborating with Fig Lancaster … Read More

Music Teacher and Supporter Shares the Gift of Music
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Beth Smith, a music teacher and SWAN supporter, held a piano recital in December where she introduced her students and their families to SWAN’s mission. Understanding the value of music lessons, they collectively gave to support our SWAN students. We are … Read More

SWAN Receives Funds from The Martin Guitar Charitable Foundation
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C.F. Martin & Co. ®  has been creating the finest instruments in the world for over 180 years.  As one of the world’s leading acoustic instrument and string makers, Martin guitars and Martin strings are the instruments and strings of choice … Read More