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Making Music Together and Building Community in Oregon

Music Together of Portland co-directors performing on stage

Music Together of Portland Co-Directors Mary Beth Camp (left front) and Bonnie Singer at the microphone performing with their team members to a sellout audience during their annual scholarship program benefit concert at the Alberta Rose Theater.

Making Music Together and Building Community in Oregon

With a mutual passion for helping families discover the joy of making music together, Bonnie Singer and Mary Beth Camp teamed up to open Music Together® of Portland in 1998. Part of a worldwide network, Music Together is an early child development program for children from infant through age five that emphasizes families making music together to stimulate early learning and mobility. Starting with 23 families at one location, Music Together of Portland has grown to 1,300 families singing and dancing together in seven locations throughout the Portland metro area, making it one of the largest Music Together centers in the world.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit at the end of its winter semester, the center had to stop teaching its in-person classes and adopt an online curriculum in order to keep their families safe. With risk mitigation measures in place, spring semester enrollments were down dramatically by more than 300 families, putting extreme pressure on co-directors Singer and Camp to honor their commitment in keeping all 18 teachers and staff employed.


Facing a decrease in revenue, they applied for a loan under the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a new forgivable SBA-guaranteed loan program established by the CARES Act to help businesses and 501(c)(3) nonprofits which have been adversely impacted by the pandemic keep trained staff on payroll. They applied through HomeStreet Bank and were funded in early May.


The PPP has allowed Music Together to retain all 18 of its team members so that they can continue to bring families together through music and dance. The center has been able to move forward with the spring semester with all their teachers engaging in an online format that is keeping their families safe and their communities strong.

“Every single teacher is teaching although we have had to reduce the number of classes,” said Singer, “The PPP allowed us to say to our teachers that we can pay you what you were expecting. We have an amazing team of teachers and administrators. I marvel at the community that we have and how we support each other through everything.”

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Music Together of Portland:

SBA Paycheck Protection Program:

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Music Together of Portland
Portland, Oregon