The Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF) Launches Fourth Year of Their Accentuate the Positive Songwriting Program in Underserved Schools in Los Angeles

1,600 Elementary School Students Will Learn How to Write Songs Like the Musical Greats in the 2017 School Year

LOS ANGELES (November 29, 2016) – The Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF) launches the fourth year of their Accentuate the Positive, a songwriting program in numerous Title 1 schools in Southern California. This year Accentuate the Positive has started with three schools in the Los Angeles area and will touch the lives’ of over 1,600 elementary school students in 55 classrooms by the end of the 2017 school year.

Children from underserved schools will have the opportunity to write original lyrics. The program is composed of four workshops and provides students the opportunity to explore their creativity centered on various Johnny Mercer songs like Accentuate the Positive, Blues in the Night, Hooray for Hollywood, and Moon River. With a strong language arts foundation, the program reflects national standards for music and language arts. Accentuate the Positive is adapted to meet the needs of the students, schools and communities served.

Current schools involved with the program include:

  • Garfield Elementary–Santa Ana Unified School District

           850 Brown St, Santa Ana, CA 92701

  • Dyer Elementary–LAUSD

           14500 Dyer Street Sylmar, CA 91342-5114

  • Laurel Span Elementary–LAUSD.  

           Starting Tues 10/18.

           25 N Hayworth Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

“We are very proud of our Accentuate the Positive program which exposes elementary school students to the Great American Songbook and the wonderful songs of Johnny Mercer; while giving them basic songwriting tools and an opportunity to express themselves through lyric writing, said John Marshall, Chairman of the Board & President of The Johnny Mercer Foundation. 

Accentuate the Positive Los Angeles is supervised by Sari Rose Barron, who serves as the Program’s Director. She develops, oversees and implements the Accentuate the Positive program. 

“I have continue to be involved with The Johnny Mercer Foundation for more than 12 years because I see the profound impact it has on students and educators,” said Sari Rose Barron. 

“The program offers a great fusion between educational learning, while introducing students to the Great American Songbook, and offering a means of self-expression.  I’m able to watch the magic of students creating their own personal lyrics inspired by various Johnny Mercer songs, feeling proud of their creations, and having fun all the while learning common core standards.”

 About The Johnny Mercer Foundation:

The mission of the Johnny Mercer Foundation (JMF) is to support the discipline of songwriting in the tradition of the Great American Songbook as exemplified by the life and work of the legendary Johnny Mercer: lyricist, composer, performer, collaborator and producer.  The Foundation continues Johnny’s legacy by partnering with individuals and organizations dedicated to celebrating and nourishing the disciplines he mastered and the causes he and his wife Ginger Mercer championed.

JMF has created a number of dynamic creative joint ventures with several prestigious institutions to facilitate our goals including; the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, Accentuate The Positive Programs (New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Miami), The Musical Theater Program at NJPAC, Georgia State University Fellowship Program, Florida International University Fellowship Program, the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project with Northwestern University and the Johnny Mercer Archives at Georgia State University, In addition, JMF also supports various charitable causes including UCLA’s Art of The Brain, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (Mark Taper and Johnny Mercer Artists Program), Braille Institute (Johnny Mercer Children and Adult Choirs) and KCET TVs Cinema Series.

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About Accentuate the Positive

In 2002, The Johnny Mercer Foundation launched a lyric writing program to teach elementary students about the art of songwriting and to introduce them to the songs of the Great American Songbook.

At the center of this program is Accentuate the Positive, a student activity guide that explains how a song is born, how music and lyrics are conceived and written and how these songs reflect our passions and ideals. Accentuate the Positive is currently being used in Los Angeles, New York City, Atlanta and Miami schools.

Media Contact
Company Name: The Johnny Mercer Foundation
Contact Person: Hillary Herskowitz
Phone: 917.279.9574
Country: United States