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...

Around the World in 4 Songs – Happy Spring Equinox!

Happy Spring Equinox! Today is one of two days in the year when there is just as much daylight as night. It’s also officially the beginning of Spring! To celebrate, here is a small collection of music played during Spring and equinox celebrations all over the world. Maslenitsa is the brightest, funniest and most entertaining of Russian holidays. It is an Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday, celebrated during the last week before Great Lent. People celebrate with blini, sledding, horse sleigh riding, and music!     In Iran, the festival of No Ruz begins shortly before the Spring equinox. No Ruz (or Nowruz) means “new day,” and this is a time of hope and rebirth. The Iranian new year begins on the day of the equinox, and typically people celebrate by getting outside for a picnic or other activity with their loved ones.   The Hilaria were ancient Roman religious festivals celebrated on the Spring equinox to honor Cybele, the mother of the gods. All kinds of games and amusements were allowed on this day; masquerades were the most prominent among them, and everyone might, in his disguise, imitate whomsoever he liked, and even political officials. Hilaria may be the ancient origins of April Fools Day!   Whuppity Scoorie is a traditional festival dating from the early 19th century observed by people in Lanark, Scotland, on 1 March to celebrate the approach of spring. Originally as children run through the streets waving paper balls on strings over their heads, fathers and grandfathers would sing, “Hooray, boys, hooray, For we have won the day; We’ve met the bold New Lanark boys, And chased them through the brae!”   How do you celebrate Spring with music? Let...

Triple Your Donation to Music Education!

This month, donate to Music in Schools Today through Amazon Smile! Amazon Smile partners with almost one million non-profits and charities to donate a portion of sales from their site to worthy causes. You can give to Music in Schools Today every time you purchase from Amazon by purchasing through the Amazon Smile site. This month, Amazon Smile is tripling the money they donate! This is a wonderful way to support arts education while shopping for your everyday purchases for your home or business. Put that tax refund to good use and support music education while treating yourself! And thank you for your support! Please follow and like...

Five Notable Women in Music History

Above, left to right: Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, Clara Schumann, Carrie Jacobs-Bond, Dorothy Fields, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe Happy Women’s History Month! Today, let’s honor a few notable women in music history. Like most aspects of the… music business, songwriting was a male-dominated field. Though there were plenty of female singers on the radio, women… were primarily seen as consumers:… Singing was sometimes an acceptable pastime for a girl, but playing an instrument, writing songs, or producing records simply wasn’t done… [and women] were not socialized to see themselves as people who create [music]. Erika Abrams in Rebeat, 28 January 2015 Despite this, there are many women who went against the grain and established themselves as successful musicians and composers. Additionally, it was accepted that women would have a role in music education, and they became involved in this field “to such a degree that women dominated music education during the later half of the 19th century and well into the 20th century.” Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre was a French composer, musician and harpsichordist. She became a musician in the Royal Court and taught, composed, and gave concerts at home and throughout Paris, to great acclaim. Clara Schumann was a German composer and concert pianist who had a 61-year concert career, which changed the format and repertoire of the piano recital and the tastes of the listening public. Carrie Jacobs-Bond was the “preeminent woman composer of the late 1800’s and well into the middle of the twentieth century… [making her] the first million-selling woman” songwriter. Dorothy Fields wrote the lyrics for over 400 songs, some of which were played by Duke Ellington. She co-wrote “The Way You Look Tonight“, which...

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...