Our Programs

Music Therapy Classes

These classes, led by a Board-Certified Music Therapist, are offered to students in our Title 1 elementary schools. School administrators assign students who can benefit from this type of guidance to help them develop the Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills necessary to improve in areas of academics, behavior, and in the choices they make.

Percussion Ensemble Classes

In some of our elementary schools, a Percussion Ensemble is offered. While these are not Therapy classes, the focus is on early childhood development skills using music and movement. As in our Therapy classes, our students get to play a variety of percussion instruments and incorporate dance and movement. These classes help children learn to work in a group setting as they develop discipline and cooperative behavior skills.

Private Music Lessons

By the time some of our students reach the second or third grade, they are ready for private music lessons. This one-on-one attention helps them develop a rapport with their teacher as a positive role model. Our goal here is to enable our students to gain the skill and confidence to join band or orchestra once they reach middle and high school. These group music activities are where the research proves children do better academically, socially, and make better life choices overall.


For our students who continue on with their music lessons after elementary school, Sparks for Success! serves as an Advocate to help them through the difficult middle and high school years. We stay in contact with school administrators to ensure our students receive the nurturing and encouragement they need.

Our Mission

Sparks for Success!  is a nonprofit organization founded to CHANGE THE LIVES OF CHILDREN THROUGH MUSIC to end intergenerational incarceration and the school-to-prison pipeline for our students.

Our Goal

Sparks for Success! encourages our students to achieve their potential. We help our children grow to understand there is something better for them to reach for by giving them important life skills that can help them overcome their circumstances.

Some of our students will become leaders in their communities and will advocate for children like themselves.

Our Story

Sparks for Success! was founded to support children affected by parental incarceration.  Research paints a dismal picture for many children of inmates who, along with their family members, are overwhelmed by their circumstances. While working with our students, we’ve come to realize that a holistic approach is necessary to change the trajectory of our children away from generational incarceration.

We help our students develop the life skills of discipline and perseverance by teaching them to play an instrument and giving them group music instruction. By incorporating Music Therapy into our program and creating a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) environment, our students will progress both academically and socially.

The study of music instills important life skills that will serve our students as they progress through school, get jobs, and serve their communities.

Either way, we pay!

It costs Texas taxpayers $3059.77 per week to put just one of our children in juvenile detention. Sparks can serve 24 children with Music Therapy classes for a whole school year for that same amount!


There are more than 7,000 children of the incarcerated here in Travis County.


Why Music?

Music is the language that reaches everyone.  It goes beyond ethnic, geographic, and socio-economic barriers.

Many studies show how learning to play an instrument and being involved in group music helps children improve their skills academically and socially.

When children learn to play a musical instrument, they develop self-discipline, a teachable spirit, and self-controlled behavior. They must be willing to practice and prepare for lessons, and to have regular attendance at lessons. They learn that working hard and achieving their goal holds rewards that are special and real.