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

Summer Camp Impact – 2019
with No Comments

For 5 weeks over 30 children participated in our second annual summer camp. It was a fun but focused time of learning music, working as a team, and developing confidence and character. Each morning the children were instructed in choir, … Read More

Creating Paths to Success for our Students
with No Comments

When our SWAN staff first met Bryanna Still, she was a 10-year-old girl who loved to sing but had never had any voice training. Within months of her receiving lessons and learning proper vocal techniques, her beautiful soprano voice emerged. … Read More

Success at Our First Spring Soiree
with No Comments

“That was awesome!” Those words, exclaimed by a student as he walked off stage at our first Spring Soiree, aptly summed up the night. What could be more exciting than to spend an evening graced with a community of people … Read More

Students Perform for the Community
with No Comments

Our students graced the steps of the Lancaster Courthouse for a community performance during May’s Music Friday. For many, it was their first time performing on the streets of Lancaster so they experienced the usual uncertainty and nervousness. Immediately after their … Read More