Book Aids Blind toward Music Literacy

The Mockingbird Foundation and The Mimi Fishman Foundation, both 100% volunteer non-profits with ties to the band Phish, are delivering grants that will fully fund the publication of a book from the National Braille Press entitled Who’s Afraid of Braille Music?  Aimed at every teacher of braille, teacher of music, and parent who wants to help a blind child acquire music literacy, the book introduces the concepts of reading, writing, singing and playing braille music.

The Mockingbird Foundation revealed the partial funding of the instructional book with the announcement of their February round of grants. The Mimi Fishman Foundation has stepped up to complete the funding of the book, through sales of an online charity auction that will feature many artifacts from former Phish drummer, Jon Fishman.

“Since Phish broke up I’ve finally gotten around to going through all the piles of drum equipment I’ve accumulated over the years and setting aside the items I no longer need or will ever use again,” said Fishman. “There have been a lot of opinions about what I should do with them one way or another, but it’s always been clear to me the best thing I could do would be to auction it off through my mother’s foundation to help raise money for those she would have been happy to support.”

The charity auction features various pieces of Fishman’s drum kits used on tours as well as studio recordings – some dating back to the mid to late 80′s. This impressive list of items includes Jon’s first kick drum which was used during the recording of “Junta” as well as early tour dates, his complete road practice kit, as well as many other gems from his equipment while with Phish. Fishman signed all the items he donated.

“The Mockingbird Foundation is pleased to support a book that makes music education available to children who are blind,” said Ellis Godard, Executive Director of the Mockingbird Foundation. “The extra support from the Mimi Fishman Foundation makes the book fully funded by the Phish community, something we can all be proud of as Phish fans.”

To view and/or bid on the auction, please visit the Mimi Fishman Foundation Auction Page. The auction begins April 2.

“Jon (Fishman) and I have been talking about this auction for a while now. I am thrilled we were able to pull it together to help such wonderful causes”, said David Shulman, the Foundation’s Executive Director.

The Mimi Fishman Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 1999 by Miriam “Mimi” Fishman (the late mother of Phish drummer Jon Fishman) and David Shulman as a vehicle to raise funds for various charities, including The American Glaucoma Society, Colorado’s Boulder County Safehouse, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Evangelical Children’s Home, Healing the Children, The Solace House and The Delta Gamma Center for the Visually Impaired. With no paid employees, the Foundation operates solely by the help of unpaid volunteers. To date the Foundation has been responsible for the distribution of nearly $200,000 to the charities it supports.

The Mockingbird Foundation is the leading provider of historical information about the band Phish and its music. Since its inception in 1996, the Foundation has been operated entirely by volunteer fans of the band, without any salaries or paid staff. It fundraises for music education for children by celebrating the music of Phish through books, innovative recordings, creative donation premiums, and special events for the Phish fan community. Mockingbird funds are distributed twice per year through a two-tiered application process that is one of the most competitive in the country, able to fund fewer than one percent (1%) of the initial inquiries received. The process has so far provided 150 grants, in 36 states, totalling $500,134.

The second edition of The Phish Companion (the Foundation’s 928-page authoritative encyclopedia) is available from major book outlets nationwide. The Foundation’s double-disc tribute album Sharin’ in the Groove is available in CD format through Amazon, CDBaby.com, and Homegrown Music Network, as well as in digital format from nugs.net/livedownloads.com, iTunes, MSN Music, Rhapsody, Napster, BuyMusic, MusicMatch, Sony Connect, MusicIsHere, Liquid Digital Media, PassAlong, MusicNet, Puretracks, MusicNow, and LoudEye! For more information about Mockingbird, or to make a donation, please visit www.mbird.org.

Phish is a rock band that started in 1983 and has not performed since August 15, 2004, then deemed its final show. For more information about Phish, please visit the official Phish.com and the fan-managed Phish.net.

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