The upcoming CSMF art show on April 29th at 3PM at Certain Sparks Music in Lompoc promises to be an enriching opportunity for young artists. This first annual art show is a celebration of the creative talent of our students featuring music themed art work on canvases provided by the CSM Foundation.

The event will be held at Certain Sparks Music, a hub for local musicians, artists, and performers for many years.

In addition to the art on display, the CSMF art show will also feature live music performances by CSM Youth Student bands, creating a lively & inspiring atmosphere.

The CSMF art show is a wonderful opportunity to support and celebrate the young artists in your life. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply looking for a fun and inspiring event to attend, the CSMF art show is not to be missed. So mark your calendars for April 29th at 3PM and come join us at Certain Sparks Music for an unforgettable day of art, music, and community.

On December 16th and 17th, the Certain Sparks Music Foundation hosted its annual Winter Recital, featuring 100 talented performers of all ages. The two-night event, held at the Lompoc Wine Factory, drew an audience of 350 supporters who were treated to a night of beautiful music and great performances.

The recital showcased a variety of musical styles, including classical, jazz, and contemporary pieces, all performed with skill and passion by the students of Certain Sparks Music Foundation. But the event wasn’t just about showcasing talent. The foundation also held a silent auction with the proceeds funding music lesson scholarships for youth in Lompoc.

By the end of the two-night event, a total of $5,199 had been raised for this cause, a testament to the generosity of the community and the hard work of the foundation’s students and staff.

That brought our total raised by the Certain Sparks Music Foundation in 2022 to $23,297.67.

Avery Lange, one of the foundation’s board members, expressed her gratitude to everyone who contributed to the success of the recital. “We are thrilled to have raised funds to support music education and are grateful to our community for coming out to support our talented students. Our goal is to provide opportunities for students to learn, grow, and perform, and with the help of our community, we can continue to do that.”

The Certain Sparks Music Foundation has a long-standing tradition of hosting annual recitals and supporting music education in the community. With the success of this year’s Winter Recital, the foundation is looking forward to continuing its mission and providing opportunities for students to develop their musical talents and pursue their passion for music.

On the evening of February 24th, local youth took to the stage to showcase their talents at the Youth Open Mic Night event. The event was held at our store at Certain Sparks Music and drew a crowd of 30-35 attendees who came to enjoy an evening of music.

The event featured 13 performers, including three newcomers who were excited to share their skills with the audience. The performers, ranging in age from 12 to 18, entertained the crowd with a variety of acts, including acoustic guitar performances, piano, and singing.

As the night went on, the energy in the room grew as the performers and audience members fed off each other’s excitement.

Throughout the night, Rosie, Sheena, and Debbie were named the top performers, earning them recognition and prizes for their outstanding performances. The three winners got a prize as well as a special gift from the store.

The Youth Open Mic Night was not just about recognizing talented young people. The event also served as a fundraiser to support the Certain Sparks Music Foundations. Attendees were encouraged to make donations throughout the night, and the generosity of the community was on full display.

In total, the event raised $140 in donations, which will be used to support lesson scholarships.

The Youth Open Mic Night was a resounding success, bringing together talented performers, supportive community members, and generous donors. The event demonstrated the power of the arts to unite people and enrich our communities.

The Next Event will be held March 31st 2023.

Music education has numerous benefits for youth, which range from academic, personal and social development.

Academic: Music education helps students in developing their cognitive skills, critical thinking and problem solving abilities. Studies show that music training can enhance areas of the brain involved in language and reasoning, as well as memory.

Personal Development: Engaging in music provides an outlet for self-expression and creativity. It also helps students to develop a sense of pride and accomplishment as they refine their musical skills and perform in front of others.

Social Development: Music is a universal language and provides a platform for youth to connect with others. In a music class, students from diverse backgrounds come together and work collaboratively towards a common goal. This fosters teamwork and communication skills, as well as mutual respect and appreciation for diverse perspectives.

In addition to the academic, personal, and social benefits, music education provides numerous opportunities for students to showcase their talents. From school concerts to competitions, students have opportunities to perform and display their hard work and achievements in front of an audience.

In conclusion, music education has numerous benefits for youth and is a valuable tool for their overall development. It provides opportunities for students to develop their cognitive, personal and social skills, as well as gives them a platform to showcase their talents. Therefore, it is important for schools to prioritize music education and provide opportunities for students to engage in music.

Positive Impact of Music on Youth
Music has been around for a very long time, and throughout history, people have modified the way it sounds, the frequency with which we listen to it, and the function it performs. Throughout human history, music has been put to use in a growing number of novel and scientifically significant ways (O’Neill, 2006). Music’s presence in young children’s lives is associated with improvements in cognitive understanding and social skills.
In addition, youngsters participating in musical activities are more likely to acquire talents that will serve them well in their everyday lives and as adults. The incorporation of music into a child’s life may have a positive impact on a variety of developmental domains, including coordination, focus, relaxation, patience, and self-confidence. When a youngster is allowed to learn how to play a musical instrument, it is much easier for them to focus their attention and feel more confident in themselves (Tarrant et al., 2002).
The ability to express and investigate one’s sentiments and emotions may be fostered in young people via music. A common way for adolescents to address certain developmental topics that are significant to them, such as love, sex, loyalty, independence, friendship, and authority, is via the medium of music.
Work Cited
O’Neill, S. A. (2006). Positive youth musical engagement. Oxford University Press.
Tarrant, M., North, A. C., & Hargreaves, D. J. (2002). Youth identity and music. Musical identities, 13, 134-150.

      “Certain Sparks Music Foundation recently provided tickets for a student and teacher to attend a concert at the Fremont Theater in San Luis Obispo, thanks to their Live Music Inspiration Program. Through this program venues donate tickets to underserved kids. The goal in creating this program was to get students excited about music, wanting to play more, and maybe even inspired to do music as a career. Thanks to this program, many students are able to expand their music experiences. CSMF would like to thank the Fremont Theater in SLO for providing the tickets! 


Interested in helping us to bring music education to kids here in Lompoc?

Here’s 3 easy ways you can help:

1) Donate an old instrument – we’ll sell it in store or online so we can get a brand new, size-appropriate instrument into the hands of a CSM student.

2) Donate clothes for our thrift rack – we’ll sell them on our popular thrift rack with all proceeds benefiting the CSM Foundation’s scholarships programs.

3) Donate your old Vinyl Records/CD’s – we’ll sell them on our record rack with all proceeds benefiting the CSM Foundation.

Cash, check, and online donation are also gladly accepted!”

by Hannah Clark

A Conversation With Mark Kozelek of Sun Kil Moon

Certain Sparks Music Foundation is hosting a fundraiser on Sunday,  April 21st — and we’re honored to bring Mark Kozelek to the stage at Lompoc Wine Factory.

Since the 1990s, he’s made waves as a prolific songwriter in Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon and under his own name.

His latest pair of albums, 2018’s This is My Dinner and 2019’s I Also Want to Die in New Orleans, push his style into a stream-of-consciousness, autobiographical realm like never before.

Read on for an interview with Kozelek conducted by Morgan Enos, a Billboard journalist and friend of Certain Sparks Music Foundation. We’ll see you at the show! BUY TICKETS!

Mark, it’s a pleasure to speak with you. How would your life be different today if you weren’t exposed to music? What if you weren’t curious about music at a young age?

My pleasure as well. I had a drug problem as a kid, so without a doubt it would have been death or prison or a terrible life had I not gone to rehab at 14. I had no interest in anything other than music from the very beginning. I never had a plan B.

Last year, you stopped by Lompoc while traveling with the band Xylouris White. Not the most well-known place, but you thought to mention it in your songs “L-48” and “Couch Potato.” How did the vibe of Lompoc strike you?

I liked the vibe there. There was a girl who sang “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” with her father accompanying her on guitar in another room just before Xylouris White went on. That blew me away. Then, her and her mother were selling cookies for a fundraiser during the Xylouris White show.

I don’t see this kind of thing every day in rock n’ roll. That was a special night. The crowd was attentive and respectful. The town was peaceful. Everyone I met was nice.

The Certain Sparks Music Foundation aims to enrich local youth through music. It’s strange how many kids aren’t exposed to music at all. Are people who don’t really care about music missing out?

I got to be honest, I don’t know what people are into anymore other than Instagram, hating the president, and watching TV. Music saved my life. It gave me a direction other than the robotic work choices I saw as a kid in Ohio. I’ve seen parents trying to steer their kids away from music and push them towards toolbox lives and it annoys me.

If your kid can sing, let them sing. Music has taken me all over the world. I’ve made a lot of friends through playing music. My parents never interfered with my choice to pursue music. They saw that music was in my blood and they let me run with it.

How would you explain your music to a child? It’s very personal and long-winded and doesn’t resemble much else out there.

It wouldn’t be on a smartphone because I don’t own one. I’d play CDs on a stereo and see if it catches their attention. I wouldn’t explain it, I’d just play it. Maybe I’d pick up a guitar and play my own music for them. That’s what got me started. Seeing a woman play John Denver songs on someone’s lawn in Ohio.

Many of your songs are based less on verses and choruses than monologues. Do you tend to sing straight from your journal?

It’s not as black-and-white as that. I’ve got maybe 52 albums or something, so we’d have to break things down album by album, which I don’t have time for. There are many verses and choruses. Even in my newer music, there are verses and choruses. Maybe not in a traditional way, but they’re in there.

Some singer/songwriters need a specific band, but it seems like you can jump in and play with nearly anyone, adjusting to their style. What gave you that flexibility?

Playing music since I was a kid and then turning 40 10 years ago. Henry Miller said that real artists don’t really find their voice until 45 and I agree. I wasn’t able to relax until about 40, the album Among the Leaves being the turning point.

Once I hit 40, I became more confident through experience. Studios don’t intimidate me anymore and I’m relaxed around great musicians. I can learn from them, finding rhythms and stretching into ranges that I wouldn’t find being on my own.

Your latest albums This is My Dinner and I Also Want to Die in New Orleans take a new direction that’s closer to freeform jazz. You’re known for your voice and lyrics, but are you influenced by instrumental music as well?

I don’t listen to much jazz but like playing with jazz musicians. I can mix things up with them and jump into different time changes. It’s fun and challenging and keeps me on my toes. The only instrumental music I listen to is classical music.

You’ve made acclaimed albums and others that rankle people who don’t get it. Would you tell a young musician to follow their muse and ignore the critics?

Led Zeppelin’s first three albums got ran into the ground. Nobody cared. Music either grabs you or it doesn’t. Doesn’t matter what Joe Blow from X, Y, Z magazine says. Music speaks to you or it doesn’t. Some of my favorite books, albums and movies were bashed when first released, and in some cases banned, but they went on to become classics.

Most writers aren’t as sensual as you. You elaborate at length on interesting cities, delicious meals and memorable conversations. Are you trying to stress in your music that life is precious?

Not at all. I think there are many writers who sing about cities, meals and conversations. Here are a few examples:

“We all came out to Montreux on the Lake Geneva Shoreline.”
—Deep Purple, “Smoke on the Water”

“She said you’re strange, and don’t change, and I let her.”
—Neil Young, “Mr. Soul”

“So, Mom, if you please, pass me the pork roll egg and cheese, if you
please, on a kaiser bun.”
—Ween, “Pork Roll Egg and Cheese”

I could go on and on. Johnny Cash wrote about cities, Bon Scott wrote about caviar, Cibo Matto wrote about chicken, Bob Dylan wrote about conversations.

The Certain Sparks Music Foundation was started with the goal of bringing musical instruments and instruction to students who could not otherwise afford them. In keeping with our mission, we were able to donate a drum kit to a music program in need!

Los Berros Elementary School were the lucky recipients of a beautiful Pearl drum kit.

Our special thanks to the following sponsors for making this happen:

  • D’Addario & Company, Inc.
  • Hungry for Music
  • Drums for Drummers

Chumash Music Donation

Youths from the Chumash Learning Center recently held a gift-wrapping fundraiser at the Santa Ynez Tribal Hall to benefit the Lompoc-based Certain Sparks Music Foundation.

The young people raised $500, and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians provided a dollar-for-dollar matching grant to create a $1,000 donation to the nonprofit organization.

With assistance from parents, the youths wrapped holiday gifts and encouraged donations to the organization that has taught them how to play musical instruments over the past year.

Education Director Niki Sandoval said the Certain Sparks Music Foundation has provided “hands-on music and character education” to more than 35 Chumash students with ongoing lessons.

“Our youth at the Learning Center have enjoyed exploring and playing different forms of music,” Sandoval said.

Mic Singh, director of youth music programs for Certain Sparks, has taught the Learning Center students the basics of guitar, drums and ukulele while promoting the values of acceptance, courtesy and respect, Sandoval said.

“It’s been a pleasure to come to the Learning Center to help the kids learn music,” Singh said. “The Certain Sparks Music Foundation is dedicated to bringing music into the lives of all children.

“This donation will help pay for music lessons for kids who can’t afford them and will also help with developing other music programs to better serve the community,” he added.

Sandoval said she has seen marked improvement in student behavior as a result of the music lessons.

“I have witnessed the power of music education to bring hope,” she said. “One student who has struggled with attention, focus and behavioral challenges now practices positive social and scholarly skills.

“(Singh) sees the potential in each student, modeling dignity and self-respect,” Sandoval continued. “This student has responded by demonstrating kindness, diligence and care for others.”

In past years, children from the Chumash Learning Center have raised funds for Santa Ynez Valley People Helping People, Care4Paws and Love on a Leash.

“Our goal is to foster a culture of service and giving,” Sandoval said.

For more information on the Certain Sparks Music Foundation, visit

For more information about the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation and its giving programs, visit

Article Source: Santa Ynez Valley News

Certain Sparks Music Foundation

Our mission is to provide music education, mentoring, & opportunities for enrichment to the under-served in our community.


The Certain Sparks Music Foundation (CSMF) is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization founded in Lompoc, CA.

Certain Sparks Music currently provides music lessons to 100+ students of all ages per week. We’ve also created & implemented music programs for schools & other organizations on the Central Coast including The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians,
Santa Bonita School District, & Dunn School.

Certain Sparks Music students learn why music matters, & how they can have a role in creating it. Our music lessons also teach teamwork, hard work, & leadership. Did we mention they’re a ton of fun?!?

How you can help

Some projects require funding above & beyond what Certain Sparks Music can earn through sales donations alone. Grants & private support fill the gaps some, but ultimately, we need your help too!

You can help to support an organization that is committed to improving the quality of life in Lompoc through the arts for generations to come with small in-kind donations, instrument donations, and even donating your time.

When you support our organization and our teachers, the funds raised ultimately return to the local economy.

Where exactly do donations go?

  • Student Scholarships
  • Instrument Sponsorship
  • Music Centered Community Events
  • Recording Studio Sponsorship
  • Books, & Teaching Supplies
  • Teacher Time / Wages

Your tax deductible donation will help us expand our music programs further into our community! Music changes lives.

Additional Certain Sparks Music Foundation Opportunities

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