Black Lives Matter

Tuesday, June 9, 2020 by Rylin Erickson | Uncategorized

Black lives matter.

Black families matter. 

Black musicians matter. 

Elizabeth Erickson, KnightLizard Music studio, and Uncaged Musicians classes are strongly committed to protesting racism and police brutality and working towards social justice and the deep systemic change that requires.

Decolonizing our studio, which has previously been a long-term goal producing incremental change, is now receiving the majority of our efforts and will see improvement more swiftly as a result. Decolonization by its very nature produces an environment that more effectively serves each individual, which is particularly crucial for our BIPOC students, LGBTQ+ students, neuro-diverse students, and students with disabilities.

Because of this priority in combination with our pandemic-induced online study, current students may experience format changes more frequently than usual, always preserving their right to direct their personal study and collaborate on their vision for group study which is an integral part of decolonization. Our usual annual interview is happening in private lessons this week and includes questions that will help dial in what is working best and should be preserved and where there is ambivalence and therefore a perfect area for targeted innovation.

To allow for optimal focus on decolonization, we do not plan to accept new students until fall. To join our waiting list, fill out the registration form on our website: or visit the MusicLink Foundation to apply for a need-based scholarship:

Prospective students please reach out with any questions prior to registration. Because we may be changing structure more frequently than usual this summer it is likely that our public website and Facebook page will sometimes temporarily lag behind in order to prioritize keeping the areas current students use (private online portal and private Facebook group) up to date. Your understanding and patience are appreciated!

I'd like to end with a quote from Shinichi Suzuki. This brilliant pedagogue created the Suzuki method in the aftermath of World War II and believed deeply in music's potential to preserve our humanity. He also tried to emphasize that each teacher continue the work he started and adapt their approach to suit their students, a belief that is at the core of my own philosophy.

"Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens.* If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline, and endurance. They get a beautiful heart." 

- Shinichi Suzuki

* I would replace the word "citizens" with "humans"