Music helps break the cycle

Help Milwaukee families heal

Music helps break the cycle

You can make a difference

Last January, WCM and Nia Imani, a long-term stable and safe housing center for struggling young women, formed a partnership to inspire the young mothers and their children. Through music making, the young women learn how to build healthy bonds and positively guide their children’s behavior in their music classes with WCM.

During class, a WCM early childhood teacher reminds the mothers to hold their child on their lap and gaze into the child’s eyes as they sing to them. Music-making not only helps young children develop skills like listening and focus, but gives the mothers a chance to connect with their children.

Breaking the generation cycles of poverty and trauma will require us to work together as a community-to embrace the hard work of social justice.

Your gift will support WCM’s work with partner organizations like Nia Imani, joining together with the community to break the cycle.

Let’s make a difference together through music.


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More ways to give

  • Text “SUPPORT” to 72572
  • Mail a check to:
    Wisconsin Conservatory of Music
    1584 Prospect Ave
    Milwaukee, WI 53208
  • Email


From generation to generation

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the primary challenge that our city faces is the epidemic of trauma – far beyond issues like education, crime, and jobs. According to experts, reducing toxic levels of stress is key to addressing this public health crisis.

Families in heightened states of trauma not only face economic devastation, they become numb, becoming frozen, withdrawn and dissociative. The impact on children can be severe, as abuse, neglect and chronic anxiety literally affect the architecture of a child’s brain.

Through music class, mothers, children, and families in our neighborhoods are beginning to heal.


Music is an outlet of expression & we truly believe that this class is helping our mothers feel inspired & uplifted.
– Belinda Pittman-McGee | Founder, Nia Amani Family, Inc

Meet Our Community Partner

Nia Imani Family, Inc

Nia Imani Family, Inc. is a safe, affordable transitional housing facility that teaches young homeless mothers with histories of poverty, violence, and trauma the life skills needed for planning, decision making and self-examination to prepare them to live independently and create strong, nurturing families for themselves and their children.


What is trauma?


The most common measure of nonmilitary trauma is a short survey known as the ACE test, which measures abuse, neglect, and other adverse childhood experiences.

The Journal Sentinel reports that Milwaukee contains entire neighborhoods where ACE scores of four or higher are “more the norm than the exception.”

Those with an ACE score of 4+ are twice as likely to have heart disease or diagnosed with cancer. They’re more likely to miscarry or give premature birth, and more vulnerable to diabetes, strokes and liver disease. For those who score 6+, life expectancy drops 20 years.

Benefits of Music for Youth

  • Accelerates brain development
  • Advances pre-reading abilities
  • Increases self-confidence
  • Builds empathy for others


Benefits of Music for Adults

  • Reduces anxiety
  • Improves mental health
  • Helps to process feelings
  • Decreases depression


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WCM Financials

As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music embraces the values of accountability and transparency as a matter of ethical leadership and stewardship.

VIEW Audited Financial Statements FOR FY 17-18