Foundation Ambassador Ali McManus Releases Her Debut Album
2/21/18 (via Magnet Magazine) – Unbreakable (Desert Dreams Books & Music) is the debut from 21-year-old Axis Music student Ali McManus. On it, the Detroit singer/songwriter worked with legendary producer Jack Douglas (John Lennon, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, New York Dolls), who calls McManus “a natural, a true artist with old-soul sensibility.” Impressive enough as it is, but what makes Unbreakable even more impressive is that McManus’ lung capacity is only 30 percent. She was born premature and given a 50/50 chance of survival. A rare bone disorder has meant she’s been confined to a wheelchair since she was seven. Eleven surgeries, halo tractions, steel rods to fuse and straighten her spine and a full body cast couldn’t deter McManus from pursuing her dream to become a musician. In fact, all of it inspired her even more. We are proud to premiere the video for Unbreakable‘s title track today on her YouTube channel HERE.
This is what Ali has to say about the song and video: “While we rehearsed and recorded, we had a video camera to follow our journey. And after I returned to Michigan, I was filmed at home and performing around the streets of Detroit. These moments became the ‘Unbreakable’ video. Throughout my life, I’ve had to face tough challenges, and each one has led me to become unbreakable. I’ve been in a wheelchair since I was seven years old, and I wrote this song about what that’s like. One day, I was sitting in my chair on the beach in the Bahamas, looking at the ocean and watching people walk by. I noticed their reactions: sympathetic stares and people wondering what’s wrong with me. I pulled out my phone and wrote this song. When Jack played me the final mix, I started to cry. And for the first time it wasn’t tears of pain—it was tears of pure joy.” There’s nothing more we can add to that other than watch the video for “Unbreakable” right now.
2/14/2018 – Thanks to our generous donors, we have been able to sponsor two new children with music scholarships. We met both parents at Groves High School at an event titled “Friends of Different Learners” that focused on businesses and non-profits who serve children with disabilities.
Owen is a ten year-old boy who suffers from extreme anxiety, ADHD, and dyslexia. Owen has a difficult time regulating his emotions and that has resulted in him being removed from the public schools system. From his mom: “His learning disability and other differences have lowered his confidence. Music is the only thing that boosts his self esteem. There is something about music that calms Owen. While he can belt out a song, more often his songs that he makes up and sings are softer – amazing at times for a kid who is often so full of energy. Owen does have a good singing voice (a talent that he does NOT get from his parents) and I really believe that if he had some training he could be quite a good singer. Singing may be the path for him as he grows up to build self confidence, feel proud of himself and know that it is not his disabilities that make him stand out.” Thanks to our donors, our foundation has sponsored Owen with vocal lessons for the foreseeable future.
Julia is seven years old and has Down syndrome and a neurological speech disorder where the brain has trouble communicating to the mouth and making the sounds needed for speech. From her mom: “In the past year we’ve noticed how she is able to string more sounds together when it’s in a song. This illustrates to us the power music can have in a person’s development. It’s incredible to watch how a beat grabs Julia’s attention and she is swept up in the music. Whether it’s a live performer at a Farmer’s Market, a street performer or a concert, Julia is an immediate fan and will begin to dance and bring joy to those around her.” Julia has also been awarded a scholarship of vocal lessons courtesy of our foundation’s donors.
Thank you once again to all of our donors for making a difference in the lives of their neighbors!
12/23/2017 – Everyone, meet Ryan. Ryan had been teaching himself to play on a thrift store guitar that was missing a string. Today we gifted Ryan a new guitar from Luna Guitars AND we’re gonna teach him how to play it! All of this thanks to some generous donors who contributed to Axis Music Foundation. Happy holidays everyone!
11/28/2017 – Yesterday we had the privilege of being interviewed by Sherry Margolis on Fox 2. Sherry had heard about our efforts to raise money in order to fund new music scholarships and she loved the cause. We sat down with her for four minutes to promote the foundation. Click here to watch the interview.
11/14/2017 – Axis Music Foundation has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. Occurring this year on November 28, #GivingTuesday is held annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday to kick off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support. All funds raised on #GivingTuesday through AMF will be used to purchase instruments and music lessons for interested children without the necessary means. More details on the global movement can be found here. Stay tuned to email, Axis Music social media, and this site for more details on how you can help.
11/1/2017 – The foundation has recently secured a generous donation and we are seeking nominations for new students to be sponsored into the foundation. Please contact us either by phone or email (email@example.com) if you know someone who loves music but cannot afford an instrument and lessons OR someone whose disability is better suited for private music lessons. Any important details about the nominee (i.e. age, school or organization, current challenges) will help in the selection process. In December, we will select two new students to sponsor into the foundation and provide them with an instrument and lessons courtesy of our generous donors.