Children and teens in need can blossom in music lessons and experience the excitement of performing, thanks to a local organization led by a North Central woman.

Rosie’s House provides free music lessons to students in grades kindergarten through 12 (photo courtesy of Rosie’s House).

Rosie’s House provides free music lessons to students in grades kindergarten through 12 (photo courtesy of Rosie’s House).

Rosie’s House, which is in its 25th year, offers free-of-charge music lessons after school to more than 500 students a year in grades kindergarten through 12. The organization will hold its annual holiday concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 12, in Memorial Hall at Steele Indian School Park at 300 E. Indian School Road. Soloists will perform on strings, wind instruments and piano, as well as sing, while ensembles also will play songs. There will be a reception with light refreshments before the concert.

Becky Bell Ballard, CEO of Rosie’s House, said more than 20,000 lessons in wind, string and brass instruments, as well as choir and piano, are provided every year to youths whose families qualify for the programs. Many of those kids go to schools in North Central – in the Osborn and Washington elementary school districts, as well as at Central, Metro Tech and Sunnyslope high schools. Typically Rosie’s House holds more than 60 concerts a year around the Valley while last year most of the performances were held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students also have performed at the Beatitudes Campus senior living community on west Glendale Avenue and at the Musical Instrument Museum on east Mayo Boulevard.

Students learn the basics of instruments and singing in the group classes, and then they can join an ensemble or take one-on-one lessons. Rosie’s House has several performance groups including its Mariachi Floreciente (Flourishing Mariachi) program, the Core Choir, Guitar Troubadours and the Aim Brass and Woodwind Program. All youths receive scholarships to pay for lessons, music, instruments and performances.

“We really believe strongly in equity and access to music as it is such a powerful activity for a child to be involved in and we really feel like every kid should have that shot,” Bell Ballard said.

Rosie’s House also offers a College Path (CP) program, where high school students receive help completing college applications, seeking financial aid and applying for scholarships for colleges and universities.

The organization can always use any donations and those who contribute will receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit of up to $800 for married couples and up to $400 for single-filing taxpayers. To learn more, visit



  • Colleen Sparks

    A 25-year industry veteran, she's written for a variety of outlets including The Arizona Republic, East Valley Tribune, Money Talks News, and North Central News.

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