Listen for Life

Visit Listen for Life at:

Travels with Music

Donna Stoering

Visit Donna Stoering at:

About Listen for Life

Listen for Life (LfL) is a global organization created for the preservation and advancement of musical culture by serving the needs of music, musicians and music listeners in every region of the world. Through a variety of outreach, education and media projects, LfL aims to create an international family of music listeners, in community with those who compose, teach, and perform all of the wonderfully diverse musical styles that can be heard on the planet.

Listen for Life has been frequently asked by UN-related organizations in Geneva to create music festivals and events worldwide that will raise awareness of the UN Millennium Development Goals and/or International Peace Day. 

Listen for Life is often asked to speak to global organizations on the use of cross-cultural music to address conflict resolution, gang/violence prevention, cultural diversity training and international education initiatives. 

Listen for Life has also been asked to set up projects in northeastern China, South Africa, Uganda, and Kenya, using innovative music and media production training programs to bring together disparate groups torn apart by fighting, economic hardship or cultural disintegration.   

Listen for Life has also created the  "MusicMessage Campaign", a workshop program for schools and after-school programs throughout the USA, raising the awareness of students, parents and teachers about the power of music and lyrics to impact their mood, thoughts, academic success, cultural attitudes and subsequent behaviors, while inspiring them to create their own positive songs (musicmessages) as a tool for communication.  

Listen for Life has founded new cross-over music festivals on three continents, along with the "Notes for Nourishment" project, music in hospitals and prisons, the "justGO!" concert formats worldwide, supported music therapy projects in Bosnia and Polynesia, created its own record label and radio programs, and archived nearly 400 hours of proprietary cross-cultural music media programming for television and online broadcast.  

The international board and executive team of Listen for Life includes such luminaries as Carl Meyer (former VP of NBC, CNN Asia, now Pres/CEO of America's Greatest Brands), Andy Orgel (a founder of MTV, Nickelodeon, A&E Channel, Wisdom Channel), Ron Tamura (former General Mgr/Head of Intl Marketing for Apple, and founder of successful digital music-media start-ups in Japan), Gerry Foster (branding and marketing guru formerly with Procter & Gamble) and LfL founder Donna Stoering ( an internationally renowned musician, speaker, author, Marshall Scholar, social entrepreneur, and former Artistic Ambassador for both the USA and Great Britain.  

Listen for Life's tremendous accomplishments to date have been funded internally by members/donors, gifts-in-kind and corporate sponsorships. It is a 501(c)3 organization with volunteer chapters throughout the world and principal headquarters in California and UK. 

ImageListen for all of your Life!

At Listen for Life we envision a world where all music cultures are valued and appreciated as the channel for communication. We are dedicated to the service of music through a variety of international and local outreach projects, and by creating a global family of music performers, teachers, creators and listeners.

Listen for Life is a global organization created for the preservation and advancement of musical culture by serving the needs of music, musicians and music listeners in every region of the world. Through our variety of outreach, education and media projects, we aim to create an international family of music listeners, in community with those who compose, teach, and perform all of the wonderfully diverse musical styles that can be heard on the planet.

Listen for Life was founded in London, England, in 1998. It then grew eastwards around the globe to encompass volunteers or affiliate studios in many countries, and it recently established new development and administrative offices in Oakland, California, USA.

One of our goals is to encourage musicians themselves and enable their growth, through workshops, master classes and international retreats. We also encourage them by offering new performance, recording and broadcasting opportunities to relatively unknown but deserving musicians throughout the world.

To serve both the musicians and the music listeners, and therefore to help advance the cause of music itself around the globe, Listen for Life has developed into an international umbrella organization for a series of outreach projects, with each project happening in many different locations around the world.


These were accomplished and carried out by YOU, and by ALL of us!

Our own “TopTen” list:

1.  Continued the creation, artistic direction, administration, & development of the OneWorldWalk cross-cultural community center (and its many events), founded by Listen for Life in 2008 in Berkeley.
Within a 2-month period the center:

- hosted a 4-day Musicfest of 27 concerts to over 1000 listeners, featuring Bay Area-based artists representing 36 cultures/countries and genres of music.
- offered studio space for visual artists wanting to connect the creation of their works with live music.
- offered free teaching studios to musicians volunteering to teach their instruments to disadvantaged youth.
- offered radio-program production training and DJ training to disadvantaged youth through Listen for Life volunteers.
- produced numerous live evening concerts downtown, featuring ethnic/traditional instruments that would be enjoyed by the relevant Diaspora communities from that tradition/culture.
- filmed and recorded those live concerts for programs that were then broadcast on Bay Area networks.
- planned for “film, food, and fun” evenings featuring the music and culture of one Bay Area Diaspora group each time, thus offering individuals from all immigrant cultures the chance to share their traditions and experiences with other groups of similar circumstance in a non-partisan community setting.

2.    Established a “Listen for Life music & instrument lending Library” for disadvantaged youth in Oakland, Berkeley and Richmond areas, thanks to your donations of under-used instruments (and music books)!

3.    During the past 12 months Listen for Life musicians performed ethnic/folk/traditional or classical music from a variety of countries/cultures throughout the Bay Area over 83 times, and outside the Bay Area (throughout the world) an additional 249 times; audience size ranged from 35 to 2100 depending on venue; wherever possible, we share the mission of Listen for Life and raise awareness of music’s potential.

4.    Co-sponsored two youth-musicals produced in Oakland and coached all (52) of the performers/singers.

5.    Provided Listen for Life Productions’ interactive media program, Travels with Music (Series One), to 33 more schools nation-wide and 7 more schools internationally. Travels with Music Series One is a 6-hour program offering a way to integrate all core-curriculum subjects (K-12) through multicultural music, featuring the music masters who come from 15 countries/cultures. In total, Travels with Music is currently used in K-12 schools (approx. ages 5-18) in 15 countries worldwide, and in over 150 school districts of the USA; it has also been made mandatory viewing for freshman cultural-diversity classes at 3 universities.

6.    Filmed and recorded new Listen for Life content featuring 4 additional cultures/music masters for broadcast on various television channels as well as content for future Travels with Music Series 2.

7.    Successfully relocated all operations, volunteers and organization of Listen for Life’s USA headquarters to Oakland’s historic Preservation Park, a wonderful center of period buildings for use by non-profits.

8.    Organized first “Planning for Peace” community group in an Oakland neighborhood to host regular discussions in members’ homes, planning projects and events for the city around Peace Day in 2010.
Listen for Life has become a leader organization nationwide for the establishment of Music Events that raise awareness of the UN Millennium Development Goals and celebrate UN Peace Day on the 21st of September each year.

9.    Listen for Life was invited to establish a presence in Geneva Switzerland as an international NGO, after Listen for Life founder Donna Stoering was asked to advise some UN-related organizations on the use of music for addressing conflict resolution, cultural diversity training, international relations, human rights issues, and educational initiatives worldwide. When Listen for Life does eventually establish a presence in Geneva this will be a wonderful opportunity to bring “good press” about Oakland and increase the international community’s awareness of the city’s tremendous cultural riches.

10.     Listen for Life founder (and Travels with Music designer) Donna Stoering was featured guest on 3 different Bay Area television talk shows and had exciting meetings with individuals in the Mayor’s Office, City Hall, the Oakland Unified School District, city-based corporations and banks, and with several Oakland-based non-profits who are potential partners. We will keep you posted!

Our goal for the coming months is to build an online community to match and enhance the physical communities that we endeavor to serve with our projects. Listen for Life is a community of local and global volunteers, so please do join us and participate, whether online or in person!

Remember, composer John Cage once said:

 “Everything you do is music, and Everywhere is the best seat