Mark Knopfler, Nile Rodgers voices support for initiative aiding music-mentoring programs

Mark Knopfler in 2019; Xavi Torrent/WireImage

Ex-Dire Straits frontman Mark Knopfler and Chic‘s Nile Rodgers are among the well-known musicians who are sharing their support for a new initiative to raise awareness and funds for music-mentoring programs, particularly for schools attended by students from lower-income backgrounds.

The initiative, dubbed the Immersive Music Challenge, was launched Wednesday by the D’Addario Foundation in response to a new UCLA study that suggests intensive music mentoring helps improve reading and math scores. The study, which was published in June in the Journal of Youth Development, also observed that those who received music mentoring during the COVID-19 pandemic experienced a decrease in anxiety.

The campaign follows alarming revelations that reading and math scores have been persistently low throughout the U.S. in recent years, and have worsened during the pandemic.

Established in 1981, the D’Addario Foundation offers financial support to music instruction and mentoring programs in under-resourced communities around the U.S.

“Learning a musical instrument will give you a friend for life,” says Knopfler in a statement. “Now the latest research has demonstrated how vital music education is in schools. It has positive effects in all areas of learning and development: makes us smarter and makes a better world.”

He adds, “Supporting the D’Addario Foundation is a key to this approach. The foundation is growing — on a journey to becoming a global influence. I hope you can help, however you can.”

Meanwhile, Rodgers says, “To me, music in schools is the most important thing that you could ever experience — and it may be one of the best things that educators can experience as well! The consistency and the fun of doing music is one of the best things a kid can experience.”

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