Our Programs

Music Therapy Classes

Sparks’ objective is to provide school-based group music therapy with an emphasis on social-emotional learning for at-risk youth. The specific goals and interventions utilized are tailored to the needs of the students making up each music therapy group. Sparks has a strong focus on providing support to children impacted by parental incarceration, deportation of family members, and homelessness. The classes are led by Board Certified Music Therapists who are educated in trauma and are trained in the specialized use of music interventions to reach non-musical goals.

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 enable our students to reach their full potential and become vibrant members of our community.

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 help children in a Music Therapy class for the 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.