The USC Thornton Outreach Program is a diverse and extensive music education-oriented program that provides unique learning opportunities for children in the local community, as well as significant service-learning opportunities for Thornton students.

The mission of the Thornton Outreach Program (TOP) is to provide low or no-cost, high-quality music training and appreciation to underserved students in the USC community while developing the teaching, mentoring, and community engagement skills of Thornton students. Student education is enhanced through TOP mentors assisting our local teachers and existing in-school music programs and providing supplemental programming in schools where possible.

Several music programs currently exist at the 15 local schools identified within USC’s Family of Schools. None of them, however, provide comprehensive music education, and only a handful of the approximately 17,000 students attend weekly school-based music classes. This realization prompted members of the community to request help from the Thornton School of Music.

Each year, over 70 Thornton students and over 6,000 children in the community participate in the USC Thornton Outreach Program. Thornton majors in performance, composition, music industry, popular music and music education offer children a variety of learning and performing opportunities.


The USC Thornton Outreach Program is made possible by generous support from:

  • USC Good Neighbors Campaign
  • The Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation
  • The Kurtin Family, in memory of Jared Kurtin
  • The Carl and Roberta Deutsch Foundation
  • The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation
  • The International House of Blues Foundation