MusicLink began in 1992 as a program of the Virginia Music Teachers Association, seeking a way to offer private music instruction to students in need by linking them with teachers willing to provide low- or no-cost instruction for as long as students wish to learn. MusicLink initially worked with schools in the DC metropolitan area, asking school music teachers to nominate students who could benefit from private music instruction, using eligibility for the free or reduced school lunch program as a guideline to financial need. MusicLink would then "link" them to professional music teachers located in the community who agreed to teach on partial to full scholarship.
After six successful years spreading the program throughout Virginia, MusicLink expanded to the national level in 1998 through support from the Music Teachers National Association Foundation. In September, 2001, the program was restructured into the MusicLink Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, to provide more freedom to seek funding for the specific needs of the program and expand possibilities beyond a single professional music organization.
The grassroots nature of MusicLink encourages businesses in communities across the country to support the program by providing local funding and in-kind donation of instruments. Our business partners include major music companies with stores in multiple states, such as Schmitt Music and Jordan Kitts Music, as well as local music businesses offering lessons, music, instruments, and general support to MusicLink programs in their communities. A majority of the major music publishers provide free music for students and discounts to teachers in the program. These in-kind business donations amount to $50,000.00 annually.