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...

March is Music in Our Schools Month

It’s almost March. Spring is almost here–flowers are peeking their heads out of their winter beds and birds are beginning to make music for all to hear. What better way to ring in the new season than to celebrate the earth’s newfound melodies and energy with Music in Our Schools Month! Since 1985, the National Association for Music Education has been celebrating music in schools every March. They hold the Biggest School Chorus in the World and generally advocate for music in schools across the nation. In honor of Music in Our Schools Month and California Arts Education Month, we will be offering up ways to celebrate on our blog every week in March. Join us in celebrating and advocating for music in schools!   Ways you can participate in Music in Our Schools Month: Make a “Music Month” calendar, and suggest that students dress for different musical eras. Play appropriate music as students arrive in the morning and at lunchtime. Add a musical touch to the morning announcements. Try having a “mystery tune” each day, or a music trivia question, with prizes for the winner. Collaborate with the art teacher and have students design posters, banners, and buttons featuring the theme of ‘Music Connects Us.’ Ask students to draw their favorite musical instrument, have them design an instrument of the future, or bring in homemade instruments for “show and tell.” Share how your organization is participating this month by tweeting using the #miosm hashtag and tagging @mustcreate. What is your favorite way to celebrate music? Tell us in the comments below!   #MIOSM Please follow and like...

Celebrate Black History Month with Music and Dance!

This month we observe Black History Month and celebrate the rich history of African and diasporic music and dance. Later this month, as our Spring music enrichment classes start, students in the Bay Area will have the opportunity to learn African Dance, Diasporic Dance, Haitian Dancing and Drumming, World Percussion, Hip Hop Dance, and many more subjects that exemplify the diversity of dance and music in the Bay Area and beyond. If you would like to experience African-American culture in the Bay Area this February, there are many events all month in San Francisco and the East Bay. There are countless ways to observe Black History Month through music and dance! What are your favorite ways to celebrate Black History Month? Tell us in the comments!       Please follow and like...

Making Instruments Using Recycled Material Teaches Science Skills

Making Instruments Using Recycled Material Teaches Important Science Skills in Preschool Teaching music in preschool, isn’t just about music appreciation.  Music taught at an early age increase students academic and social /emotional learning in years to come.  That is why we are so passionate about our Music First!program. Music First! is a 12-16 week residency where our teaching artists work alongside classroom teachers fostering student’s school readiness skills.  These skills include literacy, math, and science through music. As part of this curriculum, students explore the importance of recycling by making instruments out of plastic bowls, aluminum foil, paper towel rolls and much more!  In future lessons, students play  rhythmic pattern using their recycled instrument to illustrate characters from a book they are reading. You can learn more about our MUSIC FIRST! program, here.       Please follow and like...

How to Work With an Artist in Residence

At a time when the arts are being squeezed out of the curriculum,  inviting an artist to take up residence in your school can be an excellent way to supplement arts education. Working directly with an artist can reveal the process of creating art and help pupils to experiment with their creativity and gain confidence in expressing themselves. It will also give young people an insight into the professional arts world and demonstrate the continuum from art made in the classroom through to professional practice. The benefits might be obvious, but the process of setting up an artist in residence may not be. Here are some tips for a successful collaboration. Think about your project brief Make sure you have a purpose in mind for the artist to work towards. What type of involvement would you like the artist to have? You may want them to give talks, run practical workshops or lead a project that will involve pupils in the production of an artwork. Think about how the residency will link to school curriculum or out-of-school activity. Make sure you are clear about what you hope students and staff will gain from the experience. Set a timeline How many times a week will this artist come in and for how long?  Will the students display their learning at the end of the residence? Will this be for the school Parents? Give the artist specifics Make sure the artist knows  who to contact if they are going to miss a class due to illness or other factors.  What is the make-up policy? Have a conversation about how the school...

The Value of Music Integration: A Classroom Teacher’s Perspective

  Music Integration looks different in every classroom depending on the comfort levels of the collaborating teachers. These four wonderful classroom teachers from Oakland learned alongside their students as the music teacher taught rhythmic activities using steady beat and simple musical notation. The classroom teachers then modified those rhythmic activities to use in later language, math, and science lessons. Hear their reflection on how music integration has affected their teaching practice.   How do you integrate music into your classroom?       Please follow and like...