School’s out, but don’t stop the music!

Who isn’t looking for a little summer fun this June? It can be difficult to find things to do to beat the heat that are cheap and kid-friendly in the Bay Area. With schools coming to a close for the summer, music programs are often on hold as well. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to enjoy and learn more about music! To help your kids get their dose of music after school lets out, we’ve compiled this handy list of free, kid-friendly music events in the Bay Area. Get out your calendars! “Sing a Summer Song” Concert Series A 9-week concert series for babies and up. Bring a blanket to sit on the grass. 10:15 a.m. Tuesdays June 5-July 31 Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View. “Kidchella” Kid’s Rock Series A fun and safe environment for kids to dance and enjoy live music along with an inflatable playland. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. June 24, July 22, Aug. 19 and Sept. 9 Courthouse Square, 2200 Broadway, Redwood City. Omino Day Music Festival A day-long outdoor music festival which provides a social, musical, artistic, and cultural celebration for the families and youth of San Francisco. Saturday, June 2, 2018, 11 am to 5 pm Jerry Garcia Amphitheater, McLaren Park, San Francisco Dancing Under the Stars Every Friday night beginning at 7:30 p.m. throughout the summer months, Jack London Square will host a 30-minute dance lesson, followed by a mixed music dance party ending at 10 p.m. Every Friday Night, beginning June 1st Jack London Square Ferry Lawn, Oakland. Berkeley World Music Festival Kick-off Party Live music, food, and culture!...

May 22 is National Buy a Musical Instrument Day!

Today is National Buy a Musical Instrument Day! National Buy a Musical Instrument Day was originally May 18, in honor of Meredith Willson, the writer and composer of The Music Man. It has since been moved to May 22 and is a day to learn a new instrument, buy a new instrument, or simply encourage musical activity in friends and family. Worldwide, the most played instrument is the piano, followed by the guitar and the drums. 21 million Americans play the piano. That’s more than all other instruments combined! Perhaps you find yourself in this group—today is a great day to branch out! Ukulele is a fun, easy-to-learn instrument. The video below teaches you to play just in 10 minutes! You can even take a quiz to find out what instrument you should play here. You can also celebrate this day by buying an instrument for someone else—a child or grandchild, a spouse, or a child in need. Music in Schools Today’s Adopt an Instrument program is a great way to introduce a child to music on National Buy a Musical Instrument Day! MUST has placed gently used instruments valued at $1 million into the hands of student musicians at over 100 schools. We have drop-off points all around the Bay Area, in San Francisco, Burlingame, and Richmond. It’s never been easier to share an instrument with a child in need. If you have an instrument that you would like to donate, it’s easy! Just call us at (415) 392-9010 or fill out the online form here and we will contact you. Or if you’d like to donate to...

Can “Dad Rock” make you a better person?

Everyone has those songs that take them back to their childhood–the music their parents played when they were running errands, washing the car, or driving long stretches on a road trip. The lullabies and hymns that were sung at home. Even if we didn’t particularly like the old-fashioned music at the time, we still have an affinity for it. There are even genres dedicated to the music our parents listened to: Dad Rock and Mom Rock! But a new study from the University of Arizona shows that these shared music moments can result in more than just nostalgia. Apparently, shared musical engagement between parents and children can result in healthier parent-child relationships later in life. “Our first shared musical experiences, like our first encounters with verbal and nonverbal communication, are typically with parents. The type and frequency of parent-child musical interactions change with the relationship’s evolution, but shared engagement with music is not uncommon across the parent-child relational lifespan. Can these shared musical experiences positively influence relational quality?” Sandy D. Wallace To find the answer to this questions, researchers collected data from young adults, surveying their perceptions of support and depth, conflict, closeness, and shared identity with parents, and whether these parents shared music with them. These musical experiences could include going to concerts, playing music together, or merely listening to and appreciating music as a family. Such incidents could be structured–intentional in some way and including some sort of interpersonal communication– or casual–incidental or spontaneous. This data revealed that children who had these experiences grew up to have better interpersonal coordination, empathy, and quality of relationships with the parents who shared music with them. “Due to...

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day!

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7-11 Today is Teacher Appreciation Day! We’d like to take a moment and thank all the teachers reading for everything they do. We’d especially like to thank our Teaching Artists! Without them, MUST’s achievements in music education would not be possible. To recognize our Teaching Artists, here are some of their thoughts on teaching, in their own words:   “Students use the skills they learned outside the classroom. I can hear them singing together outside. I also enjoy the conversations about their parents and grandparents knowing the songs they learned and singing with them.” “I gave them opportunities where I asked them to teach something new to their peers. We often worked in pairs with time for exploring and problem-solving on their own.” “Students learned how to effectively work together in a group as a band. This provided a point of cohesion within the group and eventually led to comradery and respect between students in the class.” “The class gave the students the opportunity to develop confidence, musical skills not only singing but learning to recognize musical notations, and understanding different cultures.”   “I really enjoyed showing and teaching these students about the different uses of all the mediums were utilized this semester. Having answers to their infinite questions about what everything is used for or how to create or draw something new is always a great feeling.” What did you enjoy most about your teaching? “As always, the students!!!” Don’t forget to thank a teacher this week! Write a letter, give a gift, or celebrate using one of these seven meaningful ways to thank...

MUSTKazoo is a Must-Do!

School budgets are being cut all over the country, and music programs are often first on the chopping block. Music is as essential to a well-rounded education as literacy, math, and science. It promotes physical well-being, social understanding, and helps build bridges within local and global communities. What can we do about these cuts? How can we ensure music programs continue in our schools? MUSTKazoo is a fun and creative way to raise money for music education! Simply record a song on kazoo, donate and tag your friends to do the same! Together we can save music in schools.     How can you participate? Grab a kazoo, a friend, and your phone or computer and film a video! Film yourself playing a song on kazoo and other classroom instruments with your bandmates, colleagues, friends, or children. Xylophone, rhythm sticks, jingle bells-the sky is the limit! Then submit your song to kazoo@mustcreate.org. Once you’ve uploaded your video, make a donation to the MUSTKazoo challenge! Donations can be as small as $1 and as large as your imagination. 100% of your donation goes toward funding music education in schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Next, challenge two more people to do the same! Use the hashtags #mustkazoo and #kazoochallenge and send your video to friends. Challenge them to play their own song on kazoo and donate to the cause themselves. Your song could be featured on the MUSTKazoo website and on social media! Visit www.mustkazoo.org for more information. Have fun, go viral, and raise money for music education!      Please follow and like...