Thank you for the birthday wishes!

Last Thursday, MUST celebrated 35 years of bringing music education to the Bay Area! Matt Wrobel at General Pershing Preschool We visited a few of the schools around the Bay Area that we have brought our programming to over the past three and a half decades. We visited our Music First! Teaching Artist, Matt Wrobel at General Pershing preschool in Daly City, then visited our schools in San Lorenzo to hear from piano teacher Mariano, Peace Choir teacher Rhonda, and choral teachers Brynn McNally. thank you so much for the warm wishes and all your hard work! Aspecially thanks to MUST Board member Jacopo Lenzi for the birthday wishes! And thank you to everyone who tuned in on Thursday! It means the world to us! Here’s to another 35 years! To view the videos from our birthday celebration, head over to our facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/musicinschoolstoday/ Please follow and like...
Happy Birthday, MUST!

Happy Birthday, MUST!

This year, Music in Schools Today is celebrating 35 years! We are so honored to be a trusted name for music and arts education in the Bay Area. Join us on Facebook next Thursday, December 6th to celebrate MUST’s 35th birthday. We’ll be live from our music enrichment classes, celebrating three and a half decades of music education! We’ll be sharing videos from students, Teaching Artists, and staff about what they love about Music in Schools Today. Here’s how to join the party: Visit our Facebook page here on Thursday, December 6th, or join us on Instagram.Watch our live feed direct from our music enrichment classes in San Lorenzo. See our programs in action!Tell your friends! Use the “Share” button on the live feed to invite your friends to join the party.Consider donating to MUST to continue the work we’re doing in Bay Area schools! Make a donation online or start your own Facebook fundraiser for Music in Schools Today. We owe our 35 years of success to you, our supporters! Thank you! Please follow and like...
How to give back this holiday season

How to give back this holiday season

The Thanksgiving leftovers in the refrigerator have all been consumed, the neighborhood is decked in lights–the Giving Season has already begun!  Instead of simply giving this holiday season, why not give back to the people and organizations that spend the whole year giving to their communities? We have a couple of ideas to help you give back this holiday season. Give to a food bank There are more people in your community than you know who are struggling to make ends meet this winter. Give their holidays a boost by donating to your local food bank. Feeding America and the California Association of Food Banks make it easy to find one near you. There are some differences in what foods are accepted varying from bank to bank, so be sure to check before donating. The general guidelines, however, say to donate foods that are non-perishable, and that food like holiday sides (canned pumpkin, sweet potatoes, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, and dry macaroni), shelf-stable protein sources (canned tuna, salmon, or chicken;canned or dried beans; canned soups, stews or chili; peanut butter, nuts, and trail mix), and pantry staples (rice, oatmeal, pasta, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, canned vegetables, cooking oils) are always in high demand this time of year. 2. Buy items to donate During the holiday season, many schools, shelters, and other non-profits collect items that will be distributed or used within the organizations. Check out the causes near and dear to your heart to see if they have a Wish List. You can oftentimes buy items and have them shipped directly to organizations. Many fire stations collect new...
The story of Rachel, and how a violin can change a life

The story of Rachel, and how a violin can change a life

Rachel and everyone else in Mark West Union School District in Santa Rosa, CA emerged safely from the October 2017 fires. Unfortunately, Rachel was one of the many students and teachers who lost their home and belongings. Among the houses and buildings damaged was the lending library at Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, which provides instruments to underserved schools and music programs throughout the North Bay. Music in Schools Today was quick to respond by replacing instruments so that music classes could go on without further interruption. Donated instruments were delivered directly into the hands of children and replenished the lending library. Included in this delivery was a high-quality violin donated by Roland Feller of San Francisco. Rachel received this violin and as she began to play it for the first time, she was thrilled! She spent more time practicing and when she played her enthusiasm and confidence also grew. Her teacher commented: “It’s amazing what music can do, especially when you are creating it.” One year later, the music programs in the North Bay are going strong and the Luther Burbank lending library is able to fill every request for instruments! It is because of the generosity of donors like YOU, that MUST was able to help out a community so desperately in need. Providing instruments is just one of the many ways that MUST reaches Bay Area youth. Whether it’s improving literacy skills in our Music First! pre-school program, learning about new cultures in our Music Enrichment program, or attending a musical instrument petting zoo, MUST leads the way in ensuring every child in the Bay...
Can STEAM come to the rescue of music education?

Can STEAM come to the rescue of music education?

Technology and art have always courted one another. Throughout history, art has spurred innovation and technological innovation has inspired art. Now it seems that in arts education’s darkest hour, technology is coming to its aid. One of the largest costs when it comes to music education, besides teacher salaries, is the high cost of instruments. Innovators are turning to 3D printing to solve this problem. Kaitlyn and Matt Hova, who cofounded Hova Labs, have developed the Hovalin, an open source, 3-D printable acoustic violin. This violin is opensource, meaning that anyone with a 3D printer can print one themselves. The total cost to make the violin comes to about $70–a far cry from the $400-$2000 that one would normally pay for a beginner’s violin. Hova Labs’ website gives step-by-step directions for how to print and assemble the instrument. And while making an instrument is not as easy as simply pressing print, this new technology opens up a whole new world for programs and students strapped for cash. Why should you buy/build a 3D printed violin, asks Hova Labs? It’s sturdier than standard violins and individual pieces can be easily replaced if broken. You can customize the violin’s shape and color. And besides, “3D printing is sooo cool.” Assembly of the printed pieces of the Hovalin. Besides the Hovalin, Hova Labs also allows you to print your own “Hovalele”, a 3D printed ukulele. They are developing the files to create 1/4, 1/2, and 3/4 size violins, cellos, basses, along with chin rests, bows, and other accessories to instruments, and ways to make the instruments louder. Printing instruments is just one way in...
Instrument of the Month: The Horn

Instrument of the Month: The Horn

Welcome to a new recurring feature on the MUST blog: Instrument of the Month! Each month, we will be featuring a new instrument, it’s history, fun facts, and some famous musicians who play it. November’s Instrument of the Month is the horn! Modern horns are instruments resembling a flared tube, often curved and with keys to produce different sounds. The oldest horns were actually just that: an animal horn with a hole drilled in the narrow end. You can see examples of these ancient instruments in the ram’s horn used in Judaism or the African kudu horn. Metal instruments based on the shape of animal horns survive from as early as the 10th-century BCE. The areas that are now Scandinavia and Italy had early examples of metal horns, as did China with their suona (though technically a reed instrument). Early metal horns were less complex than modern horns. By the 17th-century, there were two kinds of horn: the trompe, made in a crescent shape, and the cor à plusieurs tours, a tightly coiled, spiraled horn. These were generally used for hunting, but later evolved into the brass instruments used today. (Above: a trompe, and a French horn, based on the earlier cor à plusieurs tours) Amongst the first written records of horn music are hunting-horn signals, which date back to the fourteenth century. The earliest of these is The Art of Hunting (1327) by William Twiti, who uses syllables such as “moot”, “trout”, and “trourourout” to describe a number of calls involved in various stages of the hunt. Apart from hunting calls, there is no surviving music from before the seventeenth century that specifies use of the horn....