“We can all use the positive message Suzanne so beautifully conveyed in Penny the Piano”

Snatam Kaur – Recording Artist

Penny the Piano is a children’s book, musical and the inspiration for the nonprofit organization Foster the Arts, which brings complimentary lessons in the Arts to foster children. The story behind Penny is a beautiful one. I am an opera singer with the Washington National Opera and during a rehearsal, I noticed that the piano accompanying the conductor (Placido Domingo!) was not a stunning black grand piano, but a brown spinet with a rental unit sticker on the back. I was intrigued and that night I awoke in the middle of the night after dreaming Penny’s story. Little did I know how many lives this little piano was going to touch!

The Penny the Piano Musical was performed at the Snapple Theater Center in New York City and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC and in schools throughout Delaware and Pennsylvania sharing her message of “the home within." Her next adventure brings her to a special needs school and this special company of actors will bring her story to life once again in a new way.

Foster the Arts

  • Foster children can receive complimentary group lessons in the arts from participating providers.
  • Arts organizations open up extra spaces in their classes to foster children.
  • All providers are listed on the Foster the Arts Lesson Directory.
  • Foster children with the help of their foster parents can then search and access available teachers in their area.
  • The foster children gain a new mentor and skills.
  • The arts organizations and teachers are grateful for the opportunity to help.
  • Foster parents can provide additional support and enrichment for their children.
  • These relationships translate into more well-adjusted children and stronger sense of overall community.
  • A happier childhood translates into a more stable adult life.

Our ultimate goal of this program involves providing the inspirational book “Penny the Piano” to all children 11 and under in the foster care system. Penny is a rental piano that foster children can identify with because she moves from home to home. Penny’s themes of living a “one of a kind life” and “finding the home within yourself” can be life-changing for foster children.

The book came alive when “Penny the Piano, The Musical” was performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and the Snapple Theater on Broadway. Penny’s message touched more lives through the Miss America organization when Rebecca Jackson, Miss Delaware, brought Penny to schools throughout Delaware and introduced the well-received “Penny the Piano School Curriculum”.

"Mommy, I think Penny’s words are a lot about me! I am different! I am special because of who I am."

Jenna, 10 years old