Nvak Foundation is a music education non-profit that discovers, educates, and launches careers of talented musicians living in countries facing social, political, and/or economic disadvantages.
Our mission is to connect our students, who are between the ages 14-28, with professionals from the music business and use music as a way of starting dialogue, fostering collaboration, community, and finding job opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable to them.
What We Do & How
Nvak recruits young singers, songwriters, and producers, providing free in-person and remote mentorship in songwriting, music production, audio engineering, publishing, marketing, and PR.
Classes are taught by Berklee College of Music alumni and professionals from the music business to ensure that students get both the structure and discipline of a classroom setting, and an environment that mimics how music is actually made today.
“Pop music education is scarce and often non-existent within the countries in which we operate. Therefore, the songs that are written do not travel across regions, borders, countries, or cultures.”
Non-Conventional Music Education
Most music education programs focus on the preservation and interpretation of canonical works - meaning classical, folk, and jazz music. Nvak does not. Instead, we focus on what students actually listen to: Top 40 music in a variety of popular genres.
By focusing on styles of music that young people are already passionate about, Nvak is able to:
- Attract more applicants from diverse communities, nationalities, and socioeconomic groups.
- Empower students to make music that can engage their peers, reach wider communities, and garner music industry interest.
- Engage students of all skill levels - from novices to advanced musicians.
- Build a multi-disciplinary program that teaches skills beyond music because we know that not every person who studies music goes on to become a musician.
Why Popular Music?
The world is already filled with hundreds of world-class programs offering classical music education. Almost every major city in the developed world and almost every country in the developing world has at least one classical music conservatory.
While the number of classical music conservatories has continued to grow, the audience hasn’t. In almost every country for which we have data, popular music genres significantly outpace sales of classical music. Training students in popular music allows them to speak to people of their own generation, regardless of their location or cultural values.
Classical music programs typically have a narrower focus on preserving tradition, teaching mainly performance practice and instrumental proficiency. Popular music programs by necessity are multi-disciplinary, meaning that they incorporate a wealth of skills from outside of music - STEM skills such as audio engineering, graphic design, marketing, fashion, and business.
Nvak is one of the best things that has happened to me. Nvak allows me be my real self, and that is one of the many reasons why I love it
— Elen, Nvak Class of 2017
In the united states in 2016, classical music sales amounted to 1.3% of total consumption, while popular genres amounted to nearly 75%.
Sales and streaming figures for other developed countries representing the biggest consumers of music are similarly dramatic.
Use Of Funds (2 Year Plan)
- Offer: Offer Nvak participants seasonal in- person master classes and workshops with skilled music educators and tastemakers from the United States and Europe. We hope to sign a co- publishing deal with a large US based publishing company in order to sign a few students per year to recieve their own publishing deal.
- Release: Regularly release student recordings for commercial distribution, and aggressively pursue film, television, and commercial music placement, radioplay, and other forms of exposure i.e. getting song placement in top Spotify and Apple Music playlists. Thereby, turning Nvak into a self-sustaining non-profit.
- Expand: Expand our program into new regions. Using feedback from each iteration, identify where Nvak can have the greatest impact and build a recurring presence in these regions. It is our goal to establish such presences in new territories every two years.
Use Of Funds (5 Year Plan)
- Buy: Buy a dedicated Nvak space in Yerevan; transform this space into a cooperative rehearsal, recording, teaching, and performance space run & maintained by students.
- Develop: Develop a Nvak TV show. Feature the songwriters and artists that we are discovering and developing. Tell their unique stories. Showcase the music of each region. Educate people about the countries that we are working in via storytelling and music.
- Launch: Launch the careers of multiple Nvak songwriters and artists.