Denasha Upchurch

  • Program: Music Haven
  • School: Hamden High School
  • Location: New Haven, Connecticut
  • Instrument: Violin

Music education transforms lives, and 15-year old Denasha Upchurch is proof. With support from SpreadMusicNow, Denasha has been able to study violin and chamber music at New Haven, Connecticut-based Music Haven.

To hear her tell it, Denasha's music studies have made all the difference in her young life. "Mastering the violin is so difficult, so I feel like if I can make progress on the violin, I can pretty much tackle anything. This music is challenging, and through it, I'm learning patience, determination, confidence and an openness to try new things."

Structured, individualized music education plays a critical role in helping children establish pathways to college, career and life. Students like Denasha – who admits that if it wasn't for Music Haven, would be leading a "completely different life" – are able to tap into the myriad of benefits derived from learning music, and experience the pride and increased self-esteem that comes from achievement.

"I love being able to share my music with others, particularly my family. It makes me happy when I see my mom and grandma so proud when I perform."

Upon graduating, Denasha plans to go on to college and study child psychology or speech pathology, but of course, she won't let go of her passion for music, and is planning to continue playing violin "in college and beyond."