By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- Sue Luley believes that music is good for the soul.
"Music makes you smarter," said Ms. Luley, the founder of the local nonprofit organization Earth Awareness. "It has been scientifically proven. (Playing instruments) makes kids use their left side of the brain and develop a competency in math and science, as well as learn how to work well with others. It makes you more well-rounded."
Now, to help local students develop their musical abilities, Earth Awareness will be presenting this year's "Space Coast Music Festival" on Saturday, Sept. 28.
This benefit event is designed to help buy instruments for local elementary schools, with the Mila Elementary Music Program benefitting this year.
"Mila is a Title I elementary school with a large portion of students on subsidized lunch," Ms. Luley said. "They really need our help. I consider this year to be very close to my heart."
Earth Awareness is a local nonprofit that hosts an annual fundraising event for local schools to buy instruments for students. The goal is to raise at least $10,000 in instruments for the local music programs, with a total of $87,500 collected thus far for five different elementary schools.
Mila Elementary, on Merritt Island, will be the sixth elementary school to receive funding.
Each year, Ms. Luley said the program begins with a performance from students, who received instruments at past events.
"I call them the Cape View Elementary Drum Tribe," she said. "It's great to see what these kids have done with the instruments we purchased for them within a year. It's so cute watching the roadies help them onstage. We make them feel like rock stars."
Other performances at the event will include New Orleans Suspects, Paul Chapman Project, Diablo Canyon and the Space Coast's Rocket Ranch.
Attendees are also encouraged to attend the "Space Coast King and Queen of Wings" competition and the Baja Tavern Port Canaveral Cover After Bash Space Jam from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
The "Space Coast Music Festival" takes place Friday through Saturday at the Manatee Sanctuary Park, located at 701 Thurm Blvd. in Cape Canaveral.
Admission is $5, and children younger than 12 are free.
The festival will be from noon to 10 p.m.
The festival will also feature an Eco Village dedicated to earth awareness and raising money to help preserve creative outlets and natural experiences for the youth of Florida.
For more information, visit spacecoastmusicfestival.com.