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Our Mission

Music on the Inside works with professional musicians to bring the transformative power of music education, mentorship and hope to individuals who are incarcerated or facing the challenges of reentry.

Our Goals

To create an environment  for participants to express themselves


To engender empathy, creativity, teamwork, and learning through music-making and listening


To increase focus through music


To introduce legendary musicians who overcame odds through music to incarcerated individuals


To create and record new music and songs by students


To inspire and support ongoing engagement with music upon release 

Everyone's favorite "Pops," Louis Armstrong, inspired the launch of Music on the Inside

When he was arrested as a youth, and sent to the Colored Waifs Home for Boys, there was music education and a boys band. The experience was truly life-changing for young Armstrong and MOTI's mission is to give incarcerated youth and adults today what he had: music, mentorship and hope.  

Top musicians share these concerns 

Musicians know the transformative power and many want to bring music and hope to our incarcerated brothers and sisters. With top as well as underutilized accomplished musicians all over the country wanting to help, our vision is for music to become standard in criminal justice.

We all benefit when these individuals have support for better choices

Our musically-engaged students in the prisons receive a guitar and ongoing lessons and life coaching during reentry as well.  As written by one student: “Music on the Inside has given me sure proof that society has not counted us all out. On a personal note, I was very moved to be the presence of such great artists. They made me feel loved and powerful all at once.” 

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© 2016 MOTI