One in 14 American children has a parent who has spent time in jail or is currently behind bars. These children may experience the trauma of separation, abandonment, homelessness, and continued or deepening poverty. This often results in behavioral issues and substandard academic performance.


SWAN: Scaling Walls a Note at a Time is a support group for children affected by parental incarceration and provides free music lessons, ensemble training, performance opportunities and mentoring.

Why Music?

Research underscores the importance of music on academics as it improves focus, sharpens reasoning skills and raises IQ levels. Music relieves stress, improves emotional awareness and social skills.

Music transforms children’s lives, placing them on a course towards success.

SWAN students learn to be disciplined, to work as a team, and to develop confidence. Through ensemble training, children experience the power and joy of creating music together. They develop positive group identities and skills which help them excel in school and beyond.

Serving the community through performances enables students to experience the joy of giving and the value of caring for others. It encourages them to make positive life choices and to impact their communities for good.

How can you help? Your dollars provide our students with instruments, music lessons, performance opportunities, and mentoring

“When I play music by myself, it sounds cool but when I play with others, it sounds amazing!”

Donny, Student



Latest News

Spring Student Spotlight
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Caplin is a bright 10-year-old who loves to create original compositions for the piano. When he starts his creative process, he imagines going into a coal mine. “I imagine that the notes are laying there and are black. If I … Read More

Program Director’s Perspective
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My name is Brooke Beazley, and I am the Program Director for SWAN4Kids. I have the pleasure of greeting our students and monitoring their online private lessons each week. Some of our students began online lessons during the summer of … Read More

On-Demand SWAN 4 Kids Benefit Concert
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Give Music, Empower Dreams | SWAN 4 Kids Benefit Concert from SWAN4kids on Vimeo. Some of Philadelphia’s finest performers have collaborated to bring a concert that is sure to inspire and entertain! From well-loved arias and art songs sung by … Read More

D’Addario Grant Awarded to SWAN
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SWAN just received a grant from the D’Addario Foundation that will provide music lessons for our students throughout the coming months! Our students understand that their lessons are supported by the generosity of others and are showing their gratefulness by … Read More