Ep. 90: Glee, Ryan Murphy, and innovation in music education; with Beth Slusher

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April 13, 2021

Concerns over national budget cuts for the arts in public schools led to Give a Note’s formation by Ryan Murphy, Glee, and 20th Century Fox. Give a Note (GAN) recognizes and boosts music educators utilizing especially innovative strategies to engage students and benefit their communities outside traditional music curriculum. GAN’s initiatives advance programs that attract students not typically enrolled in music classes; make music education applicable to real world settings; and are sustainable and replicable in other school settings.

Beth Slusher


My guest today is Give a Note’s CEO, Beth Slusher. Beth was one of the founding board members for the organization in 2012. She has a Bachelor degree in vocal and instrumental music performance, with a minor in business. Beth is a passionate leader in advancing the cause of music education AND is also an entrepreneur and the Owner & CEO of Rivar’s, Inc., an apparel manufacturer for the music performance industry.


  • Give A Note Foundation (GAN) is a 501(c)(3) that began in response to national budget cuts for the arts in public schools. It was established with an initial $1 million investment from 20th Century Fox, Glee, and Ryan Murphy.
  • We discuss some of GAN’s partners and collaborators in their mission, including CMA Foundation, NAfME, Glee, Ryan Murphy, and The Voice contestants.
  • We discuss ways to get involved as supporters, educators, collaborators, or in another capacity.

Connect/Other Resources

In-Episode Promo

License Your Music podcast


Beth says: My earliest memories include music in our home.  My mother loved to play record albums while working around the house.  She played everything from classical to Broadway.  She especially loved big band albums and Nat King Cole.  As a family, we spent many evenings around the piano, with one of my sisters playing and the rest of us singing and harmonizing. I started singing in the cherub choir at church when I was 4 and formal piano lessons around age 5.  In 5th grade, my dad helped me choose French Horn as my instrument. He was a trumpet player and wanted me to choose a brass instrument.    I earned a scholarship to the famed Interlochen Summer Music Camp in 1976 which was my first real orchestra experience vs. playing in the band.  Then my Jr. High band director. John Cooper who was also a French Horn player got me an opportunity to play with the Hillsdale College Orchestra as a 9th grader!  They needed horn players and he recommended me.  It was an amazing experience to play alongside college musicians.  I knew music would always be a part of my life at this point.  Mr. Cooper was truly a life coach as much as a music teacher.  He taught me one of the most important life lessons I can remember – to always be grateful.  Be grateful when someone appreciates your music, even when you think it should or could have been played better.  Music is what people feel when they hear it. When you play something, and people respond, don’t devalue their experience by saying it could have been better.  I’ll never forget that.  So for me, music is life.  It’s a part of everything I am and what I do.  It just is.

Closing Words

Thank YOU so much for joining me today. I always love to hear from listeners – you can reach me on Facebook & Instagram @EnhanceLifeMusic; I’m also on Twitter (@musicenhances) and LinkedIn.  Until next week, may your life be enhanced with music. View episode transcription.


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3 responses to “Ep. 90: Glee, Ryan Murphy, and innovation in music education; with Beth Slusher”

  1. Enjoyed talking with you for this podcast and thank you for the opportunity to share Give A Note Foundation with your listeners. Music is life and every child should learn the joy of participating in music in school. #MusicEdMatters