Making Music in the Garden, Part 2

This post is a continuation of a lesson from June called Making Music in the Garden: A Summertime Lesson in Music Integration. How do you think nature and music are connected? Peas don’t just come from the frozen section in the groceries store, and music isn’t just for professionals on the radio. In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it is easy to forget where the things we enjoy come from, and how we can take part in bringing these things to life. Do you, or I, or anyone know how oats, peas, beans, and melodies grow? We’re big into music integration at Music in Schools Today. Even though school is out and music programs are on a brief hiatus, it’s still important to integrate music into children’s everyday lives. Here is a taste of one of our programs, Nature of Music. This lesson integrates music into learning about nature in the garden, by planting seeds that will grow into delicious snacks in just a few weeks time. It’s a good way to get kids outside learning about the world around them, and about science and music. Try it this summer! Get outside, make some music, and learn something! In our last lesson, we planted pea plants and learned about how plants grow and are tended through singing the song “Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley Grow”. In this lesson, we will build on that knowledge, and introduce new information about how our pea plants are growing! You will need: Picture of pea plant, labeled with plant parts Large paper with words “Roots, Stems, Leaves, Flowers, Fruits, Seeds” Activity: Review the previous...

We got the grant!

It’s a BIG day in the MUST office, because we got the grant! Grants totaling $16,376,475 have been awarded to nonprofit organizations and units of government across California this week by the California Arts Council, and Music in Schools Today is one of the organizations receiving support for programs. “To show support for these organizations-the ones who inspire and make those crucial connections to creativity and culture within our communities-it’s a confirmation of our faith in and gratitude for that vision. This is without a doubt the most fulfilling aspect of our work as Council Members each year, to recognize those doing real, organic work to make a difference for the people of California.” Music in Schools Today has received TWO grants for the 2018-2019 year: Organizational Development: The Organizational Development program (formerly the Consulting strand of the Professional Development and Consulting program) builds nonprofit arts organizations’ capacity for success through small grants to support consulting services, and Artists in Schools: The Arts Education: Artists in Schools program supports projects that integrate community arts resources-local artists and nonprofit arts organizations-into comprehensive, standards-based arts-learning for PreK-12 students during the school day. Applicants’ projects must take place during regular school hours at the school site, and should address the unique circumstances of the school environment. Thanks to these grants, MUST is able to continue providing exceptional music education in the Bay Area, especially with regard to our Music First! music and literacy program! “Our state is the most creative state in the country, by far. There’s no shortage to the hunger for arts and culture experiences. Governor Brown and our legislators have...

Celebrate World Book Day!

April 23rd is World Book Day! Let’s celebrate all week by reading with friends, family, old and young alike! We celebrate the joys of books and reading in schools every week! Music in Schools Today’s Music First! program pairs books with music lessons to promote literacy in preschool and Pre-K classes. Favorite books from this program include Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, and The Animal Orchestra. Music First! supports sequential music education by introducing it to our youngest learners while encouraging reading skills in the classroom and at home. You can help us help young musicians and readers by participating in Amazon’s World Book Day celebration through your Amazon Smile account! Start with 6 book from Prime Reading or choose from books in First Reads. Listen to A.A. Milne’s Winnie The Pooh, Jane Austen’s Emma, or Herman Melville’s Moby Dick for free with the Audible app. Or download up to nine award-winning Kindle books from around the world for free! Don’t forget to choose Music in Schools Today from Amazon Smile’s selection of non-profits. It’s a wonderful way to support arts education while finding a new read to observe World Book Day! Please follow and like...

This Spring, donate to keep music in schools!

Olga Ilyin is a dedicated teacher at the preschool program in San Bruno Park Unified School District. She works hard to ensure her students learn the core skills needed to enter and excel in primary school. After starting Music First! classes with her students, she has seen an increase in participation and enthusiasm with the children because their lessons incorporate rhythm, percussion instruments, and songs. “We love our Music First! Teaching Artist and the students love him too! This year I took the African song “Tse Tse Kule” and mixed it into a parade through our classroom. I’ve made suggestions to our site supervisor that we should incorporate our program into the graduation ceremony.” Olga is just one of over 75 teachers utilizing MUST’s classes to enhance the learning of 2,500 students each semester here in the Bay Area. Thanks to donors like you, we can continue to reach the children that need it most. Music in Schools Today leads the way in ensuring every child in the Bay Area has access to quality music education! We are asking you to make a donation keep our classes in schools so that teachers like Olga can continue to include music education in their classrooms. $100 provides 20 students with one hour of music education and $500 provides instruments for an entire music class. A donation of $2500 provides 20 students a semester-long music class, and $5000 provides 20 students a yearlong music class. Our programs provide gently used instruments, improve literacy skills in our pre-school program, and teach about new cultures in our elementary school program.  This year our musical...

Making teachers’ dreams come true: funding education projects

Teachers all over the country were in for a big surprise last week: cryptocurrency company Ripple donated $29 million to fund more than 35,000 classroom requests on education crowdfunding site DonorsChoose. Surprised and overjoyed, teachers whose projects had been funded took to Twitter to tweet about the projects that were funded. This is the first gift to cover all currently-active projects on DonorsChoose. This donation goes a long way toward funding the millions of dollars in educational supply and funding needs. In most states, school funding has gradually improved since 2015, but some states that cut very deeply after the recession hit are still providing much less support.  As of the current 2017-18 school year, at least 12 states have cut general funding by 7 percent or more per student over the last decade, according to a survey we conducted using state budget documents. (Source) And this says nothing of extracurricular or arts and music funding! Only 19% of total donations in the United States go toward education. (Source) In 2006, 22% of elementary schools noted a reduction in music and art education to fund other programs, and high-poverty schools offering music education dropped from 100% in 1999-2000 to 81% in 2009-2010. This is why your support and donations matter now more than ever! You can make a critical difference with your tax-deductible donation.  To keep free music programs available to children, we need your help! Please donate today at musicinschoolstoday.org!   Please follow and like...

Spring cleaning means donating instruments!

The weather is getting warmer and the sun is out! You know what that means: it’s time for Spring cleaning. What better time to take stock of your closet, spare room, or garage and donate old and unused instruments! One of the biggest obstacles students face in their music education is obtaining the actual instruments to play. Many students simply do not have the resources to purchase or rent instruments, and many schools don’t have the funding to supply them. This is where YOU come in! Simply fill out a donation form on our website and drop off any instruments you no longer use at one of our three drop-off sites in the Bay Area. Your instrument donation will directly impact a child in need! So start cleaning that garage, and donate your instruments today! 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 and we will contact you. At this time we are unable to accept donations of pianos and drum kits. Learn more about our Adopt an Instrument program here. *At this time, we are unable to accept piano donations and drum kits. For piano donations, please contact Piano Finders at 925-202-2229. Thank you! Please follow and like...