Academy of Music for the Blind Makes Music-Creation Accessible with PCF Grant

Published : Sunday, March 4, 2018 | 5:49 PM

Pasadena Community Foundation

Image Courtesy Pasadena Community Foundation

Founded by David and Gayle Pinto more than a decade ago, Academy of Music for the Blind is dedicated to addressing the unique talents and challenges of blind youth by developing their musical, creative, cognitive, physical and social skills through education in music and the performing arts – regardless of their ability to pay.

In 2017, Pasadena Community Foundation introduced a new grant program: the Vista Nova Grants for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Academy of Music for the Blind (AMB) was one of the very first grantees of the program, receiving $7,500 to purchase a Braille embosser and computer workstations to control it.

“The braille embosser is an important tool for our students, enabling them to print out lyrics and Braille music that they can read and share,” says AMB Founder and Executive Director, David Pinto. “Beyond the creative aspect, this helps them learn to read Braille and gain valuable computer skills with the assistance of adaptive software. The skills they learn in order to gain literacy in music can form the foundation for their future academic achievements. Once they have the tools for learning, the sky is the limit.”

AMB’s Saturday Program features an array of classes and opportunities, including:

  • Training in acoustic instruments: piano, guitar, winds, percussion & voice
  • Braille music reading, ear training & solfege
  • Arranging and recording taught both traditionally and with the aid of accessible computer recording applications
  • Computer Literacy including training in using screen reading software
  • Movement, Mobility & Dance
  • Public Speaking & Drama
  • Community Inclusion
  • Social & Living Skills

The Vista Nova Grant Program is dedicated to supporting organizations that serve the blind and visually impaired population in the greater Pasadena area and beyond to parts of the San Gabriel Valley. It was created when the Vista Nova Renaissance Community, a home for blind Pasadena residents, sold their property and created an endowment at PCF with the proceeds.

For more information on how to set up a named endowment at PCF, click here, or contact Dan Maljanian, Director of Development at or (626) 796-2097 ext. 8.

For more information on PCF’s Grant Programs including the Vista Nova Grants, click here, or contact Mike deHilster, Program Officer at or (626) 796-2097 ext. 5.

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