MusicianCorps, an AmeriCorps-like effort to place trained musicians into schools, appears to be striking a chord with the Obama transition team and other national leaders. The brainchild of Kiff Gallagher, who helped create AmeriCorps back in the 1990s and who also served as an adviser to the Obama campaign, the program gives young graduates with music performance degrees a chance to teach in schools and after-school programs in low-income communities.
Gallagher's group recently received $500,000 from the Hewlett Foundation to pilot the program in the San Francisco Bay Area. And it has been saluted by various pols, including former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.
Like AmeriCorps, MusicianCorps would offer musicians health care and a living stipend in exchange for a year or two of public service. But the salary is little more than volunteer scale. Unlike Teach For America, there's no attempt as yet by the organization to have these young musicians qualify for a starting teacher's salary.