Sonic Foundations logo

Sonic Foundations aspires to be a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring children

through a mutual love of music while supplementing their musical education

Mission Statement

Established in 2014, Sonic Foundations aspires to be a non-profit initiative aimed at supplementing public school music education by providing individual musical mentoring to those who do not have access to it. We at Sonic Foundations understand it can be hard for a child to fully benefit from a musical education without the guidance of a qualified teacher or parents who are musicians. Our goal is to offer each child the lifelong gift of music.


Brief description:

Sonic Foundations Musical Mentoring is a new initiative in conjunction with the James B. Sanderlin Neighborhood Family Center. Sonic Foundations is a free musical mentoring program for children with limited access to musical instruments and instruction. Youth will be able to get assistance playing their instrument from high school advanced music students. Think of us as the homework helpline of Band, Orchestra and Chorus. There will also be a harmonica band geared toward those youth who have had no musical education beyond their elementary school music class.


Ean NevilleHello my name is Ean Neville. I am the founder of Sonic Foundations Musical Mentoring. This program is a new initiative in conjunction with the James B. Sanderlin Neighborhood Family Center. We will be refurbishing the music room over the summer of 2014 and plan to begin providing mentoring services in September of 2014. The renovation of the room is intended to create a safe and inviting place where youth can enjoy a diverse range of musical experiences.

Sonic Foundations is a free musical mentoring program for children with limited access to musical instruments and instruction. There will be donated musical instruments like a piano, violins and guitars to be used on site. Youth will be able to get assistance playing their instrument (which includes voice) from high school advanced music students. Think of us as the homework helpline of Band, Orchestra and Chorus. The program will be available for drop in help Monday, tuesday and Thursday from 8:00-3:00pm and wednesdays by appointment. Additionally, there will be a Friday night jam session from 6-9pm.

Our mentors will complete an application and pass an audition demonstrating that they are capable of guiding students in the playing of their instrument. Additionally, they will undergo basic background screening and work as teams to ensure the safety of all of the youth involved in the program. Other safeguards, such as security cameras, will be in place.

Mentors will commit to working two shifts per months and attending a monthly mentor meeting. A training event will cover a myriad of topics to include not only basic record keeping, program expectations and strategies to assist youth with the instruments but also appropriate boundaries, cultural sensitivity and the all important, when to call for help.

Youth may access mentoring services on either a drop in basis or by appointment, either in person or via internet if they are unable to come to the facility. The web site will have this information as it comes available.

Fortunately, I have had the luxury of having a family that supports my passion for music and provides me an outstanding musical education and an ability to provide me with hands on assistance when I needed it. I want people who don’t have that support, but still have the passion of music, to have the opportunities that I did. The goal of Sonic Foundations musical mentoring is to provide opportunities for students to further their passion for music.

For more information on Sonic Foundations visit

Thank you for your thoughtful consideration,

Ean Neville
Founder of Sonic Foundations

Sonic Foundations at the James B. Sanderlin Neighborhood Family Center
2335 22nd Ave S, St Petersburg, FL 33712 - (727) 398-5796

“I want to make good citizens. If a child hears fine music from the day of his birth and learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets a beautiful heart.”—Shin'ichi Suzuki

2nd Annual Sonic Foundations Music Festival
Classical to Noise and all Points In-Between
A Celebration of Diversity Through Music

...was a concert featuring local adult and youth musicians benefiting renovation of the Sonic Foundations Musical Mentoring space hosted by Adoption Related Services of Pinellas. Featuring: Echo Pulse, Suzanne Stokes, Ean Neville, Dream Marina and more.

2nd Fundraiser

A performance at the 2nd annual Sonic Foundations fundraiser. Inside the Sonic Foundations facility at the Sanderlin center.

Sonic FoundationsSonic Foundations

Our room at the Sanderlin center.


Frequently Asked Questions

How did Sonic Foundations begin?
Is the creation of Ean Neville an 8th grade student and Life Scout working on his Eagle Scout project. This is Ean's Eagle Scout service project.

Where is Sonic Foundations physical location?
Sonic Foundations will be housed pending refurbishment at the

James B. Sanderlin Neighborhood Family Center 

2335 – 22nd Ave. S., St. Petersburg, FL 33712 • (727) 321-9444.

The Sanderlin Center has been very generous by allowing us to utilize some of their space for practice rooms, instrument housing, and meeting space. You can find out more about the Sanderlin center at .

When do you expect to begin mentoring?
September 2nd, 2014 is our projected start date.

Where will you find children to participate in the program?
Information will be given to middle school teachers to give to their students and provide them with posters to hang in their classrooms. There will be outreach to local public radio stations in hopes of having the opportunity to discuss the program on air. Sonic Foundations will offer a press release to the media.
How will you track participation in the program?
There will be a log book when mentors and students arrive where they will sign in and out. When a student comes the first time basic demographic information will be gathered including how they heard about the program.

How will you recruit your youth volunteers?
We will contact upper level high school music teachers asking that they disseminate the information to their students. Several local students have already expressed an interest in participating in this program. There are also community organizations that will be solicited for their participation.
Why would someone want to commit their time to this program?
While many youth are interested in contributing to their community, it is often difficult to find a volunteer activity that feels relevant to them personally. Sonic Foundations is designed with them in mind offering an opportunity to contribute to the community by sharing their talents. Additionally, it is designed around their scheduling needs.
What is the minimum commitment that a mentor must make?
We are asking that all mentors volunteer two afternoons a month as well as participating in a monthly meeting for an overall average of 8 hours per month. Additionally, all mentors will be expected to participate in a training day before the start of school.
How will you address safety issues?
Mentors will never work alone, there will be three individuals assigned to each time slot so that if one is sick there will still be two present. We will install a security camera so that mentor/student interactions are always visible.
Why do the volunteers have to put up the money for their own background screening?
Frequently individuals will commit to a volunteer project and then, due to other obligations or some change in circumstance, will fail to follow through. Sonic Foundations will reimburse the cost of the background screenings after mentors have completed their first 20 hours of mentoring activities (including training).

How will Sonic Foundations get instruments?
Only a few instruments will be stored in the Sonic Foundations Space. The initial plan called for an instrument lending library and this may be considered in the future, perhaps as another Scouts project. We will solicit donations of used instruments in the community, from musical stores and music teachers. In the future there could be a partnership with a music store and do an event were individuals who bring in a used instrument for donation receive a discount on a new instrument.
How will you maintain the Sonic Foundations instruments?
One of the things for which we will be fund raising is replacement strings, piano tuning etc.
As part of the fund raising concert, individuals will be given the opportunity to sponsor a child which will cover the costs of their harmonica, shirt and an activity.

This project is the simultaneous creation of two entities, what activities are associated with each project?
The Eagle Scout project consists only of refurbishing the space and the non profit is the actual mentoring program.