Celebrate with us!

Holy Names Music Center officially opened as Spokane’s Community Music School in 1982, built on the contributions and efforts of the Sisters of the Holy Names, who were committed to using music education as a way to serve their community. The center’s mission is to provide music education to all, regardless of age, ability, or financial circumstance. Today, the Holy Names Music Center continues to impact the community through its educational programs, scholarship opportunities, and community outreach efforts.

HNMC offers private lessons in a variety of instruments, including piano, violin, guitar, voice, and more. Additionally, the music center provides group lessons, and ensembles, as well summer programs and workshops, for students who want to deepen their knowledge and skills, find joy and reap the many benefits of learning music.

One of the center’s most important initiatives is our scholarship program, which provides financial assistance to students who might not otherwise be able to afford music lessons. Through this program, the center is able to ensure that all students, regardless of their financial situation, have access to high-quality music education.

In addition to educational programs, Holy Names Music Center is also dedicated to community outreach. Music 4 Vets provides free music lessons to veterans who are recovering from injuries or dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This program has had a profound impact on many veterans in the Spokane community, helping them to heal and find joy through music.

Holy Names Music Center also offers affordable rehearsal and recital space for community groups and individuals, providing a much-needed resource for musicians in the area. Recitals and performances are hosted throughout the year, showcasing the talents of students and faculty, as well as visiting artists from around the world.

On April 21st, 2023, the Holy Names Music Center will be hosting a fundraising gala at the Commons at Mukogawa, just down the street from the music center. La Belle Epoque, a beautiful Paris themed evening will celebrate the musical legacy of the Sisters of the Holy Names, Fort Wright College, Holy Names Academy, and Holy Names Music Center. The event will feature a delicious dinner, live music, wine, and a fine auction. Attendees will have the opportunity to support music in the community while enjoying a fun evening with friends and family. Performances will be given by Imagine Jazz, Dr. Archie Chen, Mick and Stacy Wetzel from the L.A. Philharmonic, and students of Holy Names Music Center, including Amanda Nguyen on violin.

The funds raised at the gala will help to support the center’s educational programs, scholarship program, and community outreach efforts, ensuring that the Holy Names Music Center can continue to provide high-quality music education to students of all ages and backgrounds in the Spokane community.

Students, faculty, donors, and friends are all invited to attend the upcoming fundraising gala and show their support for the Music Center. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling the center directly. Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to support music education in Spokane while enjoying a memorable evening filled with music, food, and community spirit.

For more information or to register for the event visit: hnmc.org/tickets
or Call (509) 326-9516
M – Th 10 am – 6 pm PST

Guitar’s in Recovery

As part of Military Appreciation month I thought I would post a little more about the Guitar program we do for the VA Medical Center. I asked JP for a quote and one of his students sent this letter. I thought it was worth publishing in it’s entirety to give you a scope of what our veteran’s experience and the benefits of this program.

We are grateful for our veteran’s and active military for their service and sacrifice, and so grateful for the opportunity to give back to them in some way and to bring the healing power of music to as many as we can!

Letter from one of the veterans currently in the VA Guitar program:

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to express myself and my gratitude towards the “Guitar’s in Recovery” program at the Spokane VA Behavioral Health Center.  I would also very much like to express my gratitude towards Mr. Shields, JP as we like to call him.

My involvement with JP came a few years after I had been going to the VA Behavioral Health Center.  I am a veteran that sustained an injury while on active duty.  The injury stayed with me after I was discharged, and subsequently I would have my career interrupted with surgery.  Recovery usually took about 8 months and then I would have to start over looking for work.  I repeated this 4 times.  I felt like I was stuck in this cycle of pain in which I would eventually have to have another surgery and start my career over again.  Between the 3rd and 4th surgery I started to come undone mentally.  It is not easy to explain, and I am not sure if in general people are aware of these sorts of situations.

At the VA hospital I found out that my story is not that uncommon.  Eventually, I lost my ability to work and provide for my family and I was in a lot of physical pain.  In this process, I became severely depressed and suicidal and developed severe anxiety.  I had lost my identity and I saw no future, and I blamed my situation on myself.  A couple of times I asked for help and it did not come.  I gave up and I almost killed myself.  That is a stark reality for me.  It humbled me at my core.

One day my wife brought me to the VA hospital and a social worker asked the right questions and I was admitted to the psychiatric ward on the 3rd floor.  We call it the “3rd floor.”  There is a group of us that have been through the 3rd floor and that is how we like to refer to it between ourselves.  It is a place I never wanted to go to, but never wanted to leave once I had been there for a time.  I was actually afraid to leave.

While inpatient, I entered group therapy in the Finding Solution Group (originally called the Suicide Prevention group, later to be called the Suicide Risk Management Group and finally being called the Finding Solutions Group.) In this group, we explored what it takes to get healthy and what getting healthy means.  It was a chance to talk about anything that burdened us and to listen to others.  It was a work in progress type situation.  People would sometimes explore experiences outside the group and then report back their experiences.  It was during one of these times that I learned about the guitar lessons provided by JP from Holy Names Music Center and organized by Pam Wick (VA recreational therapist).  I knew that to care for myself I needed to get involved in something.  I saw this as an opportunity. I had no expectations, and I can’t say I had much desire to play a guitar… I just knew that I needed to try to do something.  I needed to find or make new parts to myself because I felt so much of my identity had been lost or stripped away.

My guitar lessons with JP (Guitar’s in Recovery) is part of the silver lining in my dark cloud.  I went through a terrible storm and I found a new side of myself in learning to play a guitar and in the social interactions with others while learning to play.  It has become a little part of a new identity and it has shown me how to heal.  I realize the process of healing and discovery is slow, and sometimes taken in little steps.  In this case, it has been little steps with a guitar and my instructor JP and my classmates.  Learning to play the guitar has been difficult for me, but I was not there to necessarily learn to play the guitar.  I was there for the acceptance and the process and the need for something positive. 

I can now say, “I can play a guitar.”  I’m not a great guitar player but, I am me, and I love my guitar, and I love the process of learning to play and the people that come to Guitar’s in Recovery.  It is a great feeling to feel, and I feel so fortunate to be able to partake in the program.

Thank you so much!


May 9th 2018″

If you are interested in supporting our mission programs like the Guitar’s in Recovery program for veterans, please consider donating by clicking here:


Holy Names Music Center’s mission is “to provide high quality instruction and performance opportunities for all!”

Post by: Elisabeth Burrell