ABOUT US

OUR MISSION: Inspiring underserved youth through world-class music instruction
and supporting their development as self-aware leaders.

Students take private, group and ensemble lessons.

Students participate in master classes taught by guest artists.

Students perform in end of trimester recitals.

Key to Change is a Washington State 501c3 nonprofit organization that inspires underserved youth through world-class music instruction and supports their development as self-aware leaders. Founded and directed by violinist, educator, and entrepreneur Dr. Quinton Morris, Key to Change strives to dispel the “starving artist” mentality and provide young artists with the educational tools and resources they need in order to grow and thrive as musicians and as individuals.
Key to Change recently launched a violin studio, of the same name, in South King County which serves middle and high school students of color and economically disadvantaged backgrounds in Renton, Kent, Auburn, Maple Valley, and Federal Way neighborhoods. Quinton Morris opened the studio after returning from his 25-city BREAKTHROUGH World Tour, which paired chamber music recitals with educational outreach and community service in under-resourced communities around the globe.

Key to Change studio offers scholarships for students requiring financial assistance. Click here to sign up for lessons!

CORE VALUES: At Key to Change, we hold ourself to the following values to deliver and drive our mission.

Artistry ~ Excellence ~ Equity ~ Diversity ~ Foundation
Inclusion ~ Opportunity

DR. QUINTON MORRIS

Teaching Philosophy

“As an educator I strive to connect students with the art of music-making and performance, giving them the tools and support they need in order to grow as artists. Throughout my lessons, I help cultivate a spirit of confidence and innovation that will serve students in both their creative and entrepreneurial pursuits. My passion for teaching shines through in my commitment to helping students achieve success on whichever educational voyage they choose in life.”

Biography

Dr. Quinton Morris enjoys a multifaceted career as a concert violinist, educator, entrepreneur, radio host and filmmaker. He has performed solo concertos, recitals and presented masterclasses and lectures at some of the world’s most respected venues, including the Seattle Symphony, Carnegie Hall (New York), TEDxSeattle, Seattle Art Museum, Roberts Project Art Museum (Los Angeles), the Sydney Opera House (Australia), the Louvre Museum (Paris), National Normal Taiwan University (Taiwan), Dong-eui University (Korea), the American String Teachers Association National Conference, the University of Paris, Monash University (Australia) and Tumaini University (Tanzania), among many others. 

He has received numerous awards for his artistic and community service including the Distinguished and Audience Favorite Awards at the Ibla International Competition, the Washington State Governor’s Arts Award, the Seattle Mayor’s Arts Award, Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award and Hall of Fame Alumni Award from Renton High School. As a filmmaker, he has received the top prize first place at the European Independent Film Awards (Paris), the Bronze Award at the Global Music Awards in Los Angeles and high honors at the New York Film Awards. 

Dr. Morris founded Key to Change in 2017 with the goal of providing underserved youth and students of color living in South King County with opportunities to take violin and viola lessons. Since the inception of Key to Change, hundreds of students have had an opportunity to take music lessons, participate in numerous musical outreach activities and learn in a diverse and inclusive environment. At the beginning of the global pandemic, Dr. Morris led a successful pivot from in-person to online lessons resulting in the string studio’s student enrollment quadrupling and retaining over 90% of students who enrolled in the program. 

Dr. Morris is an Associate Professor of Violin at Seattle University, where he is the first tenured music professor in over 40 years. He is the second living Black violinist in United States history to receive tenure and promotion at the university level. He is also the Artist-Scholar in Residence at Classical King FM 98.1, where he hosts the radio and video show Unmute The Voices. He is also the former co-chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. 

A native of Renton, Washington, Dr. Morris holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts; a Master of Music degree from the Boston Conservatory; and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently finishing a graduate diploma in business at the Harvard Extension School. In his spare time, he enjoys watching football, spending time with his family, traveling, wine tasting and collecting toy red cars. 

OUR BOARD

Board of Directors
 

     Quinton Morris, Associate Professor of Violin and Chamber Music, Seattle University

 

     Alex Diaz, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Webflow

 

     Ain Powell, Supervisor-Data Partner, Starbucks Coffee Company

 

     Susan Smith Leland, Retired Asst. Superintendent of Finance & Support Services, Renton School District

 

     Leah Bradford Francis, Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

 

     Brenda Barnes, CEO of Classical King FM

 

     Viesta Morris, Retired Office Manager, Office of the Ombuds, King County

To learn more about our board and staff, please click here.

Advisory Board
 

     Bernard Ablola, Founder, Think Strategy

 

     Stephanie Ellis-Smith, CEO Phila Giving

 

     Peter Drury, Chief Strategy Officer, Wellspring Family Services

 

     LeAnne Moss, Executive Director of the Renton Regional Community Foundation

 

     Vincent Hernandez, Senior Credit Analyst, PACCAR Financial

 

     Chris Tugwell, Be Well Consulting

 

     Vivian Phillips, Arts Consultant

Invest today to bring world-class music education to the leaders of tomorrow.

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