Helping East Athens Rise Through Music

HEART Music is a nonprofit organization in Athens, GA, whose goal is to help the people of Athens have access to high quality musical instruction


Our Mission

Our mission is to make the virtues of classical musical education accessible to underserved communities and to increase students’ chances for success in life through high quality musical instruction. In doing so, we will foster a positive, productive sense of togetherness among the people in our community, primarily through artistic collaboration.




All donations are fully tax deductible.


general fund

Donate to the general fund to help with office expenses, marketing expenses, legal and accounting fees, rental fees and any other expenses that come up in our efforts to move students forward in their musical learning.

Funds could be drawn from this fund to supplement the scholarship fund, if necessary. Helping students pay for musical instruction is our primary goal.

financial aid fund

Donate to the financial aid fund to provide direct support to students through grants given to those who are in need of financial help in order to have access to high quality music education.

Students requesting financial aid will receive partial to full funding, depending on the individual level of need. A small portion of these funds could be used for administrative expenses, if necessary.

sponsor a student

Directly support a student by setting up a monthly donation. 30 minute private lessons cost $100/month. 10 monthly donations of $100 will fully fund a student for one academic year. All of these funds will be used for financial aid.

You may also sponsor a student for the full year in a single payment of $1,000.

Instrument Donations

Instrument donations are also very welcome. Instruments will be checked for proper working condition before being loaned to students. Please contact us if you would like to donate an instrument.


Our Founders

Natalie Headshot.jpeg

Natalie smith

Except for an 18 month foray to Atlanta and then Charlotte, NC, I have lived in Athens since 1999. I came to Athens to attend music school at the University of Georgia, earning the degrees of bachelor of music theory and master of flute performance, and then returned to Athens because I love this town.


brian smith

Athens, Georgia has been my home since 1995, when I came here to study guitar at the University of Georgia with my teacher John Sutherland. I have been teaching here since 1996 and have seen so many students grow as people and musicians. I am happy to still be in Athens almost 25 years later along with my wife, Natalie, and our two daughters, Lorelei and Sylvia. I have found that teaching guitar has opened my eyes to how important music lessons are for every person who decides to take the journey.


July 2019

This is a wonderful and needed project. Thank you for sustaining music in East Athens!

father of HEART Music student



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