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 1,000 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.

Meet the Students

Halik

Halik is from Tamale, Ghana, and has been attending the Bizung School of Music and Dance... more

Mphumzi

Mphumzi has been playing drums at the Ntonga Music School since the age of ten. He was... more

Nouhoum

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

Samiksha

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

Ishowri

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

Chitra

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

Aygo

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

Jane

Jane's father is a farmer and her mother is a trader, and she has 8 siblings (5 sisters... more

Alou

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

Kritika

Kritika is eleven years old and one of two children; their father is the village priest... more

Rekha

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

Sarju

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

Sokona

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

Nakani

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

Samadje

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

Giopal

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

Pratibha

Pratibha feels that she has learned many things about music and feels extremely proud... more

Depak

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

Marietou

Marietou plays the Djembe and is very excited to be among the best in her age group.... more

Moussa

Moussa is proud to be one of the Djembe students in Kirina. His life goal is to become... more

Bakari

Both of Bakari's parents are farm workers, so he is proud to be at the music school,... more

Bintou

Bintou enjoys being a balafon students because she feels connected to her family's... more

Boubacar

Boubacar comes from a farming family and is following in his father and grandfather's... more

Fanta

Fanta's parents are both farmers and her father has always told her "it was very... more

Fousseni

Fousseni is currently taking tama (drum) classes, but being at the school has taught him... more

Kancou

Kancou is taking dance classes at l'�cole De Musique De Kirina in Mali and describes her... more

Lassana

Lassana is taking djembe and dance classes at our music school. His first time playing... more

Nadjo

Nadjo's ancestral line is that of balafon players, so he is proud to be carrying on the... more

Niakalemba

One of Niakalemba's favorite things about being a djembe and dance student at l'Ecole de... more

Tidiane

Music has helped Tidiane connect with other students and realize his learning potential.... more

Bassaran

Bassaran is a balafon and dance student. She wants to learn balafon because it is... more

Boubacar

His first time playing the kora was a dream come true for Boubacar, he had always wanted... more

Folk

Folk is studying drums and ranat (a type of xylophone in Thailand) which makes him very... more

Liu

Liu plays the melodium and flute, and is hoping to learn keyboard, violin and dance. The... more

Motoom

Motoom plays the ukulele and melodica, and wants to starts singing more, too. She says... more

Min

Min plays ukulele and melodica, but her true love is the keyboard. She had the... more

Tar

Tar is studying guitar, eventually he'd like to learn to play rock music. He loves that... more

Utsav

Meet Utsav Nepal. He has been blind since birth. We met at the Early Rehabilitation... more

Rachana

Meet Rachana. An amazing talent that brings the house down with every performance at... more