1. So what does Musical Armenia do exactly?
Glad you asked! With your donations, we provide full scholarships to needy children in Armenia to study music and be exposed to the nurturing world of the arts. We also help with instruments and/or transportation—depending on the specific needs of the child and the locality. (Example: bus fare for children from villages to attend school.)
2. Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes! Through our partnership with Paros Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit (EIN number 20-5094630) your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Paros Foundation will send you a letter confirming your donation.
3. Is my credit card information safe with Musical Armenia?
Yes, we use industry standard 128-bit SSL connection to securely process your transaction. And our payment processor is certified PCI Service Provider Level 1 - the most stringent level of certification available in the payments industry.
In addition, neither Musical Armenia nor Paros Foundation do not store any credit card information on our servers and do not share any of your information with anyone.
4. What are your overhead expenses?
Our only overhead is the credit card merchant fee of less than 3%.
We are a group of dedicated professionals donating our time and expertise, pro bono. Additionally, Paros Foundation provides logistical assistance for Musical Armenia both in the U.S. and in Armenia, and underwrites administrative expenses related to Musical Armenia.
5. Who is considered a “sustaining donor”? And what are the advantages?
Donors with recurring (monthly) contributions of $14 or more are considered “sustaining” and are paired with a specific child. Sustaining donors get a picture, relevant information (name, age, instrument) and periodic updates from the child.
6. How do I change or cancel my sustaining monthly donation?
No big deal! Just send us a quick email or call us at (818) 646-6498. Don’t forget to include your full name in the email.
7. I'd like to volunteer my time, how do I get involved?
We're ecstatic to hear that! Since Musical Armenia relies mostly on volunteers, we always can use your help, whether you live in Sydney, San Francisco, or Montreal. Contact us by email, Facebook, or call us at (818) 646-6498.
8. I’m a sustaining donor, can I contact the family of the child I sponsor?
Yes. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can put you in touch with the child’s family. If language is a barrier—most Armenian families speak Armenian and Russian only—we can help you with interpreting.
9. I’m a sustaining donor, can the child I sponsor or their family contact me?
No. We do not share your contact information with the child, his/her family, the school or anyone else for that matter.
10. How do you choose the children to sponsor?
We choose children based on financial need. We work with Paros Foundation in Armenia and other trusted local non-profit organizations such as Orran Center to identify needy children who are interested to study music.
11. What age group are the children?
5-17 years old.
12. Do some students pursue careers in music?
Yes! Some students inevitably choose to continue their studies and pursue professional careers, making us infinitely proud.
13. Is musical education really that inexpensive in Armenia?
Yup! We were surprised ourselves when we found out. Average monthly tuition is around $12, though it can be less in a few regions outside Yerevan, the capital city.
14. So how come music education is so inexpensive?
15. Does my donation also help the teachers?
Absolutely. Teachers are paid per student. By sponsoring a child who would otherwise be unable to enroll, you increase the number of students and thus increase teacher pay. In fact, most of your donation translates directly into teacher pay. (And the teachers are grateful to you for that!)
16. Tell us more about the music schools!
The music school system in Armenia has a proud tradition. It was created during Soviet times and is styled after the world-renowned Russian model. Education is quite structured and has produced generations of amateur and professional musicians (think any well-known musician from Armenia).
Students graduate from the music school with an official diploma after 7 or 8 years of study. Each “grade” has a curriculum and required exams for students’ technical and musical proficiency. After graduating, students have the option to enroll in the Conservatory or other professional programs.
17. What is the musical curriculum?
Schools are in session two (2) semesters a year, around 10 months. Students receive 90-120 hours of direct instruction per year (yes, 90-120!)
Here is a student’s typical weekly schedule:
Gifted students also have many opportunities for music competitions: local, national, and international.
18. Can I visit the schools?
Yes! We encourage you to visit. Contact us by email, Facebook or phone—we will gladly arrange your visit.
19. What is your partnership with Paros Foundation?
Musical Armenia operates under Paros Foundation’s 501 (c)(3) status. Paros Foundation generously provides guidance and logistical assistance both in Armenia and in the U.S.
Paros Foundation has over a decade of experience in transparent, non-profit work in Armenia.
Paros Foundation's goal is to develop high quality, high integrity non-governmental organizations in Armenia by significantly upgrading their working environment, providing guidance and needed resources.
20. Does Paros Foundation fund Musical Armenia projects?
No. Paros Foundation provides logistical assistance in Armenia and in the U.S., but does not fund Musical Armenia projects. All projects are funded with contributions from individual donors.
21. How are funds dispersed in Armenia?
Paros Foundation in Armenia pays each individual student’s tuition directly.