Listening: An Easy Entry Point to Supporting STEAM at Home

STEM education refers to the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEAM education incorporates the “A” for the arts – recognizing that to be successful in technical fields, individuals must also be creative and use critical thinking skills which are best developed through exposure to the arts and there are many easy ways to support it at home. Listen to nature. Listen to recordings of nature.  Better yet, go out into nature and listen. Ask your child to identify the sounds they hear included animals, waves, blowing grass. This activity fosters observation skills, sorting and identification all of which is essential to science and math. Remember, the purpose of STEAM should not be so much to teach art but to apply art in real situations. Applied knowledge leads to deeper learning. Have fun and STEAM on!!!!         Please follow and like...

Stories From the Instrument Fairy

Have you ever wondered what happens to the instruments that are donated to MUST? Every week we receive gently used instruments at one of our three drop-off locations in the Bay Area. This includes our offices in downtown San Francisco, Music at Kohl Mansion in Burlingame, and the East Bay Center for Performing Arts in Richmond. These instruments are then given to schools who have 65% or more of their students receiving free or reduced lunch. For some schools this means a few more students can take music lessons, for other schools it means they can start a new or lapsed music program. When it comes time to make a delivery, we send out our Instrument Fairy (AKA our Associate Director, Barie)!  “Delivering instruments to schools is the best part of my job! To see the excitement on the children’s faces makes it all worth it.” This fall we will continue our partnership with KDFC to expand our drop-off sites for a two week instrument drive. In 2016 we had 12 locations and received 315 instruments valued at over $50,000. Stay tuned for dates! If you’d like to hear the story of a flute that went from donor to student, you can listen here. And check out what our donors and receipent schools are saying about our Adopt an Instrument program: “You have made our day! Thank you for sharing with us the positive impact of ours and the many other donations. I think this is such a valuable service KDFC is providing to Silicon Valley’s underserved youth.” – Kirk Everett, donor and KDFC listener “I am really grateful for this...

Thank you Green Apple for a Great Partnership

  MUST is committed to buying local and Green Apple Bookstore is helping us to bring literacy and music to over 800 Bay Area students age 3-5. We have been working with our Music First! early education program (preK-2nd) for almost five years now.  What makes our music program unique is that we are offering our program as a music and literacy program.  Involving pre-literacy skill connections between music and literacy is a perfect fit for early learners.  Here are the three things I find make our program unique: Each music lesson, is taught by a professional musician also known as a teaching artist who is able to highlight their instrument and profession as an individual professional artist as well as educator.  We feel it’s important to show young learners that more than just music appreciation, there are wonderful talented and professional musicians making their living as an artist in our rich and culturally diverse home of the Bay Area.   Each lesson in music is paired with a book or story. Music is a language and most studies and experiences prove that students learn to read and learn language faster with the help of music.   We bring the instruments and books into the classroom and give the teachers and the students recordings of the music and the instruments to use, bang on or use for extension activities throughout our residency.  We also align our curriculum with California state standards in Visual and Performing Arts for as young as the preschool level. What I am thrilled about is that this year we reached out to our local bookstore,...

Drawing: An Easy Entry Point to supporting STEAM at home.

STEM education refers to the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEAM education incorporates the “A” for the arts – recognizing that to be successful in technical fields, individuals must also be creative and use critical thinking skills which are best developed through exposure to the arts and there are many easy ways to support it at home. Here is a fun activity to introduce the A to STEM with your child at home! Have your child draw a concept.  Creating images is essential to scientific thinking. Scientists do not use words only but rely on diagrams, graphs, videos, photographs, and other images when making discoveries and sharing their findings. Some ideas to get you started: 1)     How to make a sandwich. 2)     How to get to school. 3)     Go on a scavenger hunt.  Have kids sort their findings and journal with words and pictures why they sorted it that way. 4)     Have a water balloon fight.  But first have your kids create the rules for this game.  Have them think about the boundaries in the yard.  Where can you hide?  Where can’t you hide? Have them map it out. 5)     Make a flipbook of your day. Just one word of caution, though. Art is often touted as a method of adding creativity to STEM—but keep in mind that engineers are rarely lacking for creativity and ingenuity. Just look at the world around you for proof. The purpose of STEAM should not be so much to teach art but to apply art in real situations. Applied knowledge leads to deeper learning. Have fun and let us know how your...

STEM to STEAM: How the Arts Impact Education and the Economy

Our friends at Kent State have shared with us this infographic highlighting the importance of STEAM education. Check it out and let us know what you think! Over the years, a lot of relevance and emphasis has been put on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) over art related studies. This is because STEM is considered the future of innovation and has been at the epicenter of all technological and science advancements to date. However, proponents of Arts studies have fought to incorporate the A in STEM. The proponents of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) aim to transform research policy by incorporating Art and design into STEM. Furthermore, the STEAM movement is pushing for the integration of art in K-20 education and is influencing employers to hire designers and artists to drive innovation. Clearly, the arts will play a critical role not only in the education system in the U.S. but also in the country’s economy. To learn more, checkout the infographic below created by Kent State University’s Online Masters in Music Education program.     Please follow and like...
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