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Making a difference through music
Two Alvin ISD students are using their musical talents to raise spirits and money for local non-profit organizations. Five years ago, sisters Sandhya Mahesh, a Shadow Creek High School 10th grader, and Tanya Mahesh, an 8th grader at Nolan Ryan JH, began volunteering at local nursing homes by playing music for residents. When COVID-19 struck, the pair was unable to continue their in-person concerts and decided to come up with a new plan. “That’s when we took our music online and opened it up to all nursing homes in the US,” Sandhya shared. “We coordinate with the nursing homes to either do live Zoom concerts or provide a recorded playlist to them so their residents can view them in the privacy of their rooms.”
As they started growing, their presence online got bigger and this is when Chords for a Cause was officially formed. The sisters found it difficult to keep up with their schooling and continue to provide quality music to more than 25 nursing homes across the country, so they turned to social media to recruit more help. Now, they have seven other students from all over the US who help by coordinating the type of music they want to record, releasing themed playlists, and working on fundraising goals, among many other duties.
The sisters knew they did not want to stop there! They began brainstorming other opportunities to raise money for various causes near and dear to their own hearts. In the spring, everyone had much more free time than usual, so they decided to make a small business out of doing at-home music lessons. It began with one customer, but it quickly grew to several students learning a variety of instruments such as the piano, violin, viola, and even some voice lessons. From April to August, the sisters held weekly lessons for the students and raised over $1,000 to donate! “Our first donation went to CRY America, which funds children’s education in underprivileged, poor communities in India,” Sandhya explained. As their lessons expanded, so did their ability to donate to more causes.
This year, they chose to donate $1,250 to the Alvin ISD Education Foundation during their #CreateGood online giving campaign. “We were elated when Sandhya and Tanya reached out to us about a donation,” Education Foundation Director Sheila Olson shared. “The money will go towards an innovative teaching grant for fine arts instruction.”
Their entire goal was to make a difference through music and they made this thought into a reality. “We wanted to share our passion with everyone to show how music affects every walk of life, and how we can make a huge difference with music,” Tanya Mahesh said.
For more information or to join their cause, go to chordsforacause.org.