Students Served This Year
mission, Vision, & Values
Rock to the Future provides student-driven music programs in a safe and supportive environment at no cost for Philadelphia youth. We prepare the next generation for every stage.
We envision that all youth in Philadelphia will unlock their fullest potential through the benefits of learning music.
We believe in the power of music to improve lives. We value:
- A song only works when everybody plays their part. We foster teamwork to ensure that when our students take the stage, it’s not how well they play, but how well they play together that matters.
- Dedication and hard work apply even after the set is over. Our programs teach students skills to help them grow in school and life.
- It takes guts and grit to take the spotlight. Stepping on stage requires the support and freedom to take risks, and we work with our students to feel confident to explore beyond the scales.
- We champion the diverse voices of our community. Rock to the Future makes a formal promise to improve our culture, practices, and approaches to uphold diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of our organization — knowing it requires sustained commitment, courage, and optimism.
- Living life to its fullest means owning your solos and expressing yourself. Creative expression is the true soul of music, and we encourage students to discover their unique identity.
Guided by her personal experience and belief in the power of music education to transform lives, Founding Executive Director Jessica Craft left a job in the financial services industry to begin Rock to the Future in 2010 after being awarded The Turning Point Prize of $15,000 from Women for Social Innovation. Jessica and Josh Craft volunteered for the first two years of operation until Rock to the Future received a gift of over $214,000 from Delaware Investments, which allowed for the hiring of staff, the creation of a strategic plan, and program development and expansion.
Starting with just 13 students, the program has continued to grow to serve hundreds of youth each year through the MusiCore after school program, MobileMusic in-school classes, Rock*A*Delphia and GuitarStars summer programs, and community events. In 2018, Rock to the Future opened a second MusiCore location in Germantown to better serve Philly youth. All programs are free for Philadelphia kids and teens from underserved communities.
Thousands of Philadelphia area patrons enjoy concerts from Rock to the Future youth, most being free to the public.
Why & How
There is a lot of research about the benefits of music education. You can read the various studies and benefits here. We know the magic of music is incredible and we see it in the students we serve every day. Providing accessible music education levels the playing field for youth in under resourced neighborhoods.
We provide students with innovative and unique programs so that everyone can experience the benefits of music education. Our students have a choice of what they learn and create. Working together with their peers, students write their own original music, record in professional music studios, and perform at venues around Philadelphia.
These exciting experiences bring students through the doors so that our staff can also provide individualized academic and social support. In our MusiCore after school program, we provide direct academic assistance through homework help, tutoring, and post-secondary education assistance; including college and trade school visitations, FASFA nights, scholarship writing clubs, and application help.
As Rock to the Future students collaborate, create, and perform, they learn life skills, gain confidence, learn motivation, and feel pride. Through music, our students are empowered, learn self-awareness, and learn to appreciate peers and adults from diverse backgrounds.
We create an environment where students of all ages and abilities feel confident, safe, and respected enough to perform on stage. No matter what instrument or style of music they choose, we create the support structure that allows our students to learn at their own pace and in their own way. The confidence needed to be a musician, bandmate, songwriter, and performer transfers to all stages of life.
Diversity & Inclusion
We recognize the deeply entrenched practices, cultural norms, and social structures that perpetuate inequities. Rock to the Future, in our work with youth from underserved neighborhoods in Philadelphia, is committed to eliminating those inequities. Rock to the Future makes a formal promise to improve our culture, practices, and approaches to uphold diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels of our organization — knowing it requires sustained commitment, courage, and optimism.