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Musician Ferras presented $300,000 to the city of Philidelphia earlier this month, a donation from VH1’s Save The Music Foundation. The money will be put toward the city’s public school music programs.

Happy to help in reviving America’s deteriorating music programs, Ferras said, “Music has helped me in so many ways. Growing up in a small town, music was the only thing that kept me going.”

According to the Save the Music Foundation, their donations are to be spent on the purchase of new musical instruments “to restore music education programs that have been cut due to budget reductions in the past or to save programs at risk of elimination due to lack of instruments.”

Effective in developing balanced cognitive skills in children, the Foundation sites critical thinking, self discipline, self-esteem, math, reading and spatial reasoning as benefiting from music programs, as well as improved school attendance and a lower incidence of involvement with gangs and drugs.

Ferras, who began playing the keyboard at the age of five, thinks music is crucial. “[Music] was the place I went to deal with what was going on in my life. I didn’t care about anything else. For me, emotions were connecting to music, and it was like therapy for me… Music was my best friend. A lot of kids feel that way. It’s the one thing that can speak to everybody. It’s greater than all of us. It allows us to become a part of something bigger than each individual person.”

In its 11 years of existence, Save the Music Foundation has contributed nearly $40 million worth of instruments to public schools in the US.

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