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Guitar Center Partners with Levi’s® Music Project to Help Build a New “Song Lab” at Stax Music Academy

Levi’s® Music Project partnered with Justin Timberlake to create a youth masterclass in songwriting at Stax Music Academy in Memphis, Tennessee

Westlake Village, CA – Guitar Center, the world’s largest musical instrument retailer, has recently partnered with Levi’s® to help provide musical equipment for the Levi’s® Music Project with Justin Timberlake at the Stax Music Academy in Memphis, Tennessee.

Levi’s® Music Project is an initiative that brings music education resources to community-based programs and the next generation of young musicians. Children across the globe are at risk of losing opportunities to invest in themselves and the arts as funding for music education is on the decline. Every year since 2015, Levi’s® has partnered with respected artists and local community partners around the world to develop the initiative.

This past August, Levi’s® teamed up with Justin Timberlake to launch the project at Stax Music Academy in Justin’s hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Thanks to Justin and Levi’s®, Stax Music Academy is now equipped with a new room called “The Song Lab” – a remodeled facility meant for songwriting workshops. Stage-ready instruments, as well as recording, audio, and production equipment, were kindly donated by Guitar Center and other top MI manufacturers. Justin also surprised 30 of Stax Academy’s 9th-12th grade musicians who completed Stax’s advanced music theory course with an all-new songwriting class. Students will meet for two hours every Friday afternoon after school for ten months with instructors to hone their songwriting skills.

“We now have a full studio at Stax Music Academy, which Guitar Center has been so phenomenal in donating instruments for,” said Stax Music Academy Executive Director Pat Mitchell-Worley. “Often times, you either get the instrument or the instruction—but to be able to have both in one place has meant the world to these students. That space to work on their music is essential.”

Since its founding in 2000, Stax Music Academy has gone on to serve and foster the creative talents of thousands of children in the Memphis area. Facilities are housed in the former location of Stax Records, a record label integral to the development of Southern soul music. After nearly 20 years, the academy remains committed to nurturing the next generation of leaders who uplift their communities through music and service.

“Guitar Center is proud to offer support for the Levi’s Music Project at Stax Music Academy by providing the latest instruments and equipment for young musicians in one of the capitals of American music, Memphis,” said Donny Gruendler, Guitar Center’s Vice President of Music Education. “Whether it’s private lessons or community-based programs like Stax Music Academy, Guitar Center wants to help give more children access to learn the enjoyable art of playing music as studies have shown that music has countless positive effects on the overall development of young people.”

To learn more about the Stax Music Academy, visit, and read our interview with Stax Music Academy Executive Director Pat Mitchell-Worley.