Portrait of Sonya Shadan


Our mission is to enlist, train, and propel our nation’s most skilled musicians and match them with low-income youth for one-on-one music lessons.

 Sonya Shadan, Founder & CEO

Our story: Revolutionizing music education

Featured in Sheryl Sandberg's

Our Vision

We are committed to changing the life trajectory of underserved students through private music instruction.

Why We Do This

"Learning is a right, not a privilege. Learning music is no exception" – Sonya Shadan, Founder & CEO

→ Music leads to success: Learning to play an instrument contributes to higher academic performance by strengthening math and critical reading skills.

→ Lack of opportunity: 1 in 7 public school students learn to play instruments
due to over $109 million cut from music programs.

→ Lack of focus: One teacher instructing 30 students per class.

→ A road to success: Learning to play an instrument strengthens math and critical thinking skills,
contributing to high academic performance.

Our Impact

Lessons for Life has provided many highly motivated low income students the opportunity to learn an instrument and cultivate skills, discipline, and a lifetime love of music. With your help we can reach even more students.

Child playing violin

"Learning to play the violin with Niels gives me confidence, I feel like I can do anything"
– Josh Mendez, 10 years old

Child playing violin

"I like playing the violin because it's fun and I like the way I sound. I want to play in the symphony one day"
– Jessica Martinez, 9 years old

Tutor teaching child

"Being a part of LFL has not only made me a better person, but also a better musician. By teaching music I'm also learning in so many ways"
– Tessca Almeida, 15 years old

Our Supporters

Our teammate, Cody Simpson, believes in Lessons for Life