The Music in Me

HBO’s documentary “The Music in Me”—by executive producer Leslie Stifelman and producer Diane Kolyer—won a 2007 Peabody Award, not to mention the hearts of thousands of musicians and viewers. The documentary was one of 35 recipients recognized for distinguished achievement and meritorious service in radio, television and cable broadcast.

The show profiles six young musicians including a 7-year-old zydeco accordion player and an 11-year-old composer.

“To me, music is integral to life, and life is integral to music,” says Stifelman, who serves as music director and conductor of the Broadway musical “Chicago.” “It’s through music that we see these kids’ lives—they’re intertwined.”

Stifelman’s idea originated from her time teaching in poor New York neighborhoods. The concept quickly gained the support of the musical community. Indianapolis-based Music for All partnered with NAMM, the International Music Products Association based in Carlsbad, Calif., to sponsor the documentary’s debut on Oct. 6, 2006 at New York’s Carnegie Hall. The screening included live performances from several of the students in the film.

Part one of the show aired on Oct. 7, and part two aired on June 16, 2007. Part three, “The Leopards Take Manhattan: The Little Band That Roared,” will air in 2008.

Photo by Bob Mahoney. All rights reserved.