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

Meet Our Team: Brooke Beazley
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We’d like to introduce one of our team members, program director Brooke Beazley. I am a cellist and began studying the cello at the age of 8 in 4th grade. As a student, I loved the sound of my instrument. … Read More

Off to College!
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Former SWAN student and teacher Bryanna Still had a stellar freshman year at Edinboro University studying music and art therapy. She chose that major because music and art helped her deal with the trauma she suffered throughout her childhood. She … Read More

Students Receive Cheers
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Our students recently performed outside of The Ware Center for Lancaster’s “Music Friday.” It was an impactful time for them as live performances, especially outdoors, often bring surprises. That evening, the entire McCaskey football and cheerleading teams were going through town in … Read More

Meet Our Team: Lauren Reyes
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We’d like to introduce one of our team members, music teacher, and board president Lauren Reyes. “I began taking piano lessons in first grade, and then started flute lessons in 5th grade. I enjoy all of the instruments but my favorite … Read More