Stand By Me Scholarship Program

More than a decade ago, Playing For Change was inspired when one man, Roger Ridley, sang familiar words to a popular song: “No matter who you are. No matter where you go in life. At some point, you’re gonna need somebody to stand by you.” For Co-Founder Mark Johnson, that moment ignited a passion to use music to connect people and to create a better world.

Today, more than 700 children around the world are learning music and dance every week. This is possible because people like you are willing to Stand By Them. Stand By Me Scholarships provide funding for students to attend PFCF music programs for an entire year.

About Stand By Me Scholarships

• All scholarships are need-based and provide access for children to learn music and dance at no cost to them.
• We visit the children and their teachers each year to offer support, ensure quality education and monitor their progress.
• Children have opportunities to perform throughout the year, enhancing collaboration, self-esteem, mastery, awareness of the program and community connection.
• Students have opportunities to connect with other children and adults around the world through emails, letters, cards, photos and musical collaborations.
• Scholarship donors receive a greeting and photo from students and a video from the program annually.

Meet some of our current students; they will inspire you. Consider funding a scholarship so that these children and their classmates can experience the joy of music in their lives and they can know what it feels like to have you stand by them.

Stand By Me Scholarship Program

Meet the Students


Udayapur Music Program, Nepal

Depak plays the flute and also loves to sing. He is very grateful for the Udayapur Music program…more


Udayapur Music program, Nepal

Pratibha feels that she has learned many things about music and feels extremely proud with her…more


Udayapur Music Program, Nepal

Giopal can play the harmonium and the madal. Giopal has always enjoyed music. Before taking music…more


Star School Music & Sports Program, Rwanda

Jane’s father is a farmer and her mother is a trader, and she has 8 siblings (5 sisters and 3…more


Ntonga Music School, South Africa

Mphumzi has been playing drums at the Ntonga music school since the age of ten. He was encouraged…more


Ecole de Musique de Kirina, Mali

Alou is a 16-year-old young man who studies kora at the music school. He is the grandson of the…more


Bizung School of Music & Dance, Ghana

Halik is from Tamale, and has been attending the Bizung School of Music and Dance since 2010. He…more


Mitrata Music Program, Nepal

Ishowri has been living at the Mitrata Orphanage for over 8 years . She has dreams of becoming a…more


Udayapur Music Program, Nepal

 Samiksha has one brother and one sister. Her mother and father are both teachers in Katari. She…more


Mitrata Music Program, Nepal

Chitra has 3 brothers, one sister and his father is a farmer. He loves to play flute and is…more


Ecole de Musique de Kirina, Mali

Nouhoum is a 15-year-old student at Ecole de Musique de Kirina, in Mali. He has studied…more


Udayapur Music Program, Nepal

Sarju lives with his family in Tintale Village, Nepal, and has a younger brother, Suraj, who also…more


Ecole de Musique de Kirina, Mali

Nakani has seven sisters and two brothers, and her parents are both farmers in Kirina, Mali.…more


Ecole de Musique de Kirina, Mali

Sokona has 3 sisters and 2 brothers. Her father is a farmer and carpenter, and her mother is a…more


Udayapur Music Program, Nepal

Rekha is one of three siblings, and her father is a farmer in Tintale Village, Nepal. She claims…more


Udayapur Music Program, Nepal

 Kritika has one sibling. Her father is the priest and her mother is the leader of the Mother’s…more


Ecole de Musique de Kirina

Samadje has two sisters and three brothers, and her father is a farmer and a musician. Her mother…more


Hari Kul Music Program, Nepal

Sharley loves to play the keyboard and sing. She has one brother and greatly influenced by her…more


Khlong Toey Music Program, Thailand

Aygo is a talented and spirited ukelele student at the Khlong Toey music program. She is a brave…more