Partnership Offers Access to Community Music School for Low-Income Students

Partnership Offers Access to Community Music School for Low-Income Students


A new relationship with a New Jersey philanthropic project means that the Rowan University Community Music School can expand its outreach and share the school’s programming with students who may have a greater need for and more challenges accessing music education.

The Community Music School (CMS) recently entered into a partnership with the Barnegat-based Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation, which will provide scholarships for students who have not previously had the chance to take the lessons offered by the school.

Becoming a studio and community partner with Applaud Our Kids will allow selected students to benefit from CMS classes in vocal or instrumental music. Children between the ages of 7 and 18 who show financial need will have the chance to earn scholarships supporting their studies until they reach that top age; meaning a student who enters CMS at age 9 could take classes until they are 18…for free.

“We’re very excited to partner with Applaud Our Kids,” said Dr. Elizabeth Guerriero, director of the Community Music School & Educational Partnerships. “Access to one-on-one private lessons with a highly-qualified instructor boosts many areas for students including cognitive functioning, social-emotional learning, and overall love of music.”

Parents or guardians of interested children must apply through the Foundation and meet certain financial requirements. To start the process, email for an application form or to request additional information. Learn more at

Founded in 2017, the Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation is committed to giving children the opportunity to find their own voice, increase their self-esteem, give them a sense of belonging, and provide them with positive reinforcement through the performing arts.

“The performing arts are not just a creative outlet, they’re a lifeline,” said Melissa Grinwald, who – with her sister Jodi – co-created the foundation in memory of their late father Zzak, a passionate singer and songwriter who never had access to music lessons.

The Zzak G. Applaud Our Kids Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides underserved children in New Jersey with the funding and resources needed to attend ongoing performing arts lessons in dance, acting, vocal instruction, and instrumental music.

The Community Music School, dedicated to “transforming our community through high quality music for all,” offers instruction and performance opportunities to students in the greater Rowan University region in an effort to promote artistic growth and a lifelong appreciation of music.

For more information on CMS, visit Rowan Community Music School, call 856-430-2697, or email