The Gift of Music, a Lifetime of Benefits 

Written by Theresa-Marie Wilson

Theresa-Maria Wilson has been a journalist covering the North Coast and South County area for over 20 years. She is also the founder of Cat Noir CC and is currently working on a novel.

April 19, 2024

Learning to play a musical instrument provides benefits to children that go beyond the shaky notes on day one to a possible stage performance further down the road. It promotes problem solving, creativity, self-esteem, patience, coordination, social skills as well as calms stress and anxiety, improves memory, instills perseverance, and nurtures self-express among others. 

Infinite Music, a Morro Bay based non-profit, wants to ensure that K-12 students have an opportunity to experience music education and appreciation in communities and schools where kids are underserved in some way. Programs are supported by grants, donors, and school funding when applicable. Students are not charged enrollment fees.

“There is so much guiding research that demonstrates how children do better in school and life when music education is an ongoing part of their education,” said Sarah Mason, founder-director of Infinite Music. “It benefits kids socially, emotionally, and academically, and the sooner they receive music education the better.

“I was fortunate to study music as a young child — piano privately, and flute in school — and it has been a lifelong passion of mine. It was also a time when music was a big part of school curriculums, all through elementary, middle, and high schools. I often refer to it as the golden age of music education. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case today.”

Infinite Music’s goal is to provide equitable and comprehensive music programs for local students at all grade levels, and to assist countywide schools and other learning-based organizations that are challenged to provide music and arts programs for their students. 

Since 2013, Infinite Music has provided more than 2,000 local youth in San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties the opportunity to experience the transformative power of music. They offer choir, ukulele, guitar, world rhythm & movement, and drumming from schools as far south as Guadalupe and as far north as Paso Robles and west to Morro Bay and Los Osos. Currently, more than 500 students are enrolled in music lessons. 

“Teaching music is more than just introducing students to beats, notes and songs,” Mason said. “It provides them an opportunity to discover and experience what they are good at, and what motivates and inspires them. It opens endless possibilities to their learning potential.”

Group lessons take place after school, and tuition assistance is provided for those students enrolled in the Schools Lunch Program. Currently there are 29 students on the Central Coast receiving free private instruction in either instrument or voice as part of Infinite Music’s Rising Stars scholarship program. They will perform a recital for their friends and family in late April at the Morro Bay High School Theater.

“Many kids that could most benefit from an arts education are the very ones who lack accessibility and affordability,” Mason said. “Music is one of the many things they miss out on. Infinite Music strives to bring music into communities and schools where kids are underserved in some way and provide them musical opportunities.”

Spring Instrument Drive

Through the month of April, Infinite music is holding their Spring Instrument Drive and welcomes the donation of any type of quality used music instruments that are in functional condition. 

“We welcome donations of all types of instruments and sound equipment year-round,” Mason said. “We cannot accept acoustic pianos, but we do welcome electric keyboards.”

PA and sound equipment are also welcome, such as headphones, microphones, speakers, mixing boards and more.

Depending on the value and condition, Infinite Music then distributes select instruments to deserving students in their youth music programs or sometimes sells the instruments with 100% of the proceeds going toward student lessons and purchasing additional instruments. 

“We are truly amazed at the generosity of our local community,” said Mason. “We remind everyone that instruments deserve to be played so if through the years you’ve moved on to playing a newer instrument, and you’re still holding on to your very first instrument, perhaps collecting dust in a closet, we can put that treasured friend in the hands of a deserving music student.” 

Since the nonprofit’s inception, Infinite Music has received over 350 donated instruments. 

Robyn’s Legacy

Infinite Music was inspired by the love and enduring musical life of Robyn Brancart, Mason’s brother, a gifted singer and songwriter who lost his fight with ALS, a degenerative motor neuron disease, in February 2012.

“All the life skills important to our brother are what Infinite Music was inspired by – a medium to foster joyous expression, empowerment, collaboration and common ground, Mason said. ” “Our brother inspired us with his musical talents, his love of education, and starting Infinite Music was a way for us to turn our grief into a positive. He would be absolutely charmed to see all the kids whose lives have been touched through Infinite Music,” says Mason. 

With Robyn’s legacy always in her heart, Mason finds her own fulfillment at the helm of the organization.

“It’s rewarding to see how they [youth] use the discipline that goes along with making music and apply that to the challenges they face in life. It’s really just the pure joy of watching a young person focused and, in the moment, totally immersed in what they are doing, whether it’s singing in a choir, feeling the rhythm, or performing in an ensemble or solo.

“I’m hopeful Infinite Music can continually provide as many kids as possible the opportunity to experience the power and benefits of music and fill in the gaps where music education and appreciation are missing for young people in our area.” 

Instruments are only part of the musical journey. Infinite Music awards individual private and/or small group instrumental and vocal instruction to deserving students, 7th through 12th grades. Students are evaluated for the award based on academic achievement, musical talent, and financial need. 

“All of our instrumental and vocal instructors are professionals and paid for their service,” Mason said. “We are proud to support all of these excellent teachers— some of the best music teachers and educators in the area. It is especially gratifying to see the musical community that is developing through these wonderful interactions,””

Over the years, Mason said there are many success stories that stand out in her mind, but one that remains at the forefront followed a performance in the one of the county’s best venues, the PAC in San Luis Obispo.

A group of 4th and 5th grade students enrolled in Infinite Music ukulele lessons at a local elementary school had the opportunity to learn and perform on stage with world renowned performer and ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro. 

“That was pretty remarkable, and he was so wonderful with the kids,” Mason said. “After they played there, they wanted to know where their ‘next gig’ was going to be.”

To donate an instrument, call Infinite Music at 805-225-1899, or email  Instruments can be dropped off at their office or their volunteer staff will provide pick up service. For more information about Infinite Music’s mission and programs, visit

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