Living Classrooms was founded in 1985 and has been dedicated to enhancing the youth of the DMV area ever since. This dedication has inspired many programs, including Kenny Liner’s Believe in Music. Liner, of Baltimore’s very own ‘The Bridge,’ began his foundation to increase music education and give an affordable twist to inner city children.
The Interview With Kenny Liner
1. What inspired you to start Believe in Music?
After the Bridge decided to call it quits after 10 years of hard touring. I decided to move to Portland Oregon and revaluate my life’s goals. Moving away from everyone I know put me in the right mind set to contemplate my vision for the future. I knew I wanted to do something that would give back to other people, but I wasn’t sure how to go about it. One day while sitting on a cliff enjoying the sunset it came to me that I could use my talents in a way to inspire students to learn music. Not just in a traditional way, but in a way that felt close to my heart and in line with my integrity. That night Believe In Music was born. Our mission is to promote self expression and community awareness through music education.
2. What direction do you want to take the organization in the next year?
This next year is all about expanding and scaling Believe In Music. Right now we are set up in the POWER House in the Perkins Homes (the largest housing project left in Baltimore City). We see around 64 kids a day and the results of attendance rates and grade improvement amongst our students has been very impressive. Our major goal this year is to secure funding so I can grow my staff and spread the reach of Believe In Music to many more schools and community centers in East Baltimore.
3. What made you want to start the foundation in the Baltimore area?
I am a Baltimore guy, born and raised here. I have an immense amount of home town pride, but I also see the major problems with this city that I love so much. I wanted to join the already amazing community of people from Baltimore, giving back to Baltimore.
4. What made you want to pair with Living Classrooms?
Living Classrooms foundation has been doing amazing things in the East Baltimore community for over 25 years. I felt like their vision was very in line with my mission, so talks began very early on with me and CEO James Bond. James is amazing at what he does and has served as a helpful mentor in helping me achieve my goals. The proof is in the pudding. They do good work and get good results, and I am honored to be apart of Living Classrooms Foundation.
5. What is your favorite part of the program?
My favorite part of the program is connecting with my students and watching them step outside of their normal box to learn new things and grow. My students have so much talent and it’s very exciting to watch them blossom not only into great musicians but great people.
I’ve got to say: Believe in Music is a fantastic program, and Kenny Liner is such an inspiration to everyone, especially the music community. For more information about Believe in Music, their website is here.