The World Cup Brings the Music!

The World Cup is winding down again, and with that comes time for reflection on this year’s World Cup and previous years’. What better way to do so than to look back at the songs that defined World Cups of years past? For 2018, the official song was Live it Up by Nicky Jam, ft Will Smith and Era Istrefi. It’s a lively song reminiscent of Latin and Reggeaton cross-over hits from recent years such as Despacito and any number of Daddy Yankee or J Balvin songs. Live it Up has a rap interlude courtesy of Will Smith, perhaps hitting on the 90s nostalgia sweeping the Western world in 2018. But what about the first ever World Cup Song? That title goes to El Rock del Mundial by Los Ramblers, back in 1962. El Rock del Mundial is an Elvis-esque rock-and-roll song sung in Spanish with jazzy horn and guitar riffs throughout. The title roughly translates to “World Rock”, and was an early attempt at a unifying theme to bring multiple countries and teams together. The second World Cup Song was maybe a little too on-the-nose: World Cup Willie seems bizarre to modern ears, reminiscent of novelty songs of the late 1960s or perhaps the Sergent Pepper-era Beatles. Though perhaps the oddest thing is that this song may be making a comeback! According to an article on scotsman.com, streaming service Deezer has chosen the song to be England’s “secret weapon” in the 2018 World Cup. According to the article, Deezer has urged listeners to get behind the English team by “encouraging Brits to sing along to Lonnie Donegan’s World Cup Willie, the soundtrack to England’s win in 1966. A survey of 1,000...

Do you like American music?

Do you like American music? We like all kinds of music, But I like American music best. -“American Music”, The Violent Femmes Happy Independence Day! As you and family are barbequing, toasting marshmallows, and watching fireworks, no doubt you will also be listening to music–perhaps even American music. As a melting pot of many nationalities and backgrounds, American music is unique and quite interesting! Join us for a breif history of American music–and listen along! 1776- British soldiers sing “Yankee Doodle” to mock colonists, and Americans adopt it as their own tune. “Johnny’s Gone for a Soldier,” an adaptation of Irish folk tune, gains popularity in the newly formed United States.   1815- Francis Scott Key writes the poem The Defense of Fort McHenry, which appears in The Baltimore Patriot newspaper. One year later he puts the poem to the music of popular British song, To Anacreon in Heaven, and publishes The Star-Spangled Banner.   1850- Col. Sandford C. Faulkner believed to write music and words to The Arkansas Traveler, a song about a country fiddler, popular in the Ohio River Valley. The song is traditionally known to have had several versions of lyrics, which are much older than the copyrighted song.   1861-Julia Ward Howe writes a poem for Atlantic Monthly, “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” based on the hymn, “John Brown’s Body”; William Steffe later writes music to create popular Civil War song. Staying at the Willard Hotel in Washington on the night of November 18, 1861, Howe awoke with the words of the song in her mind and in near darkness wrote the verses to the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”. Of the writing of the lyrics, Howe remembered: I...

June 21st is Make Music Day!

Celebrate summer by making music! Launched in 1982 in France as the Fête de la Musique, Make Music Day is now held on the same day in more than 120 countries. Completely different from a typical music festival, Make Music is open to anyone who wants to take part. Every kind of musician — young and old, amateur and professional, of every musical persuasion — pours onto streets, parks, plazas, and porches to share their music with friends, neighbors, and strangers. Make Music Day is performed by anyone and enjoyed by everyone. Whether you are a professional musician or just musically curious there are multiple ways to participate. Locally, Make Music Day is celebrated in Davis and in San Jose. Venues all over participating cities will have performances and hands-on musical activities for you to attend. There are Play-Along events all over San Jose: harmonica lessons, an“orchestral adventure”, and kids events. In Davis, you can try your hand at bucket-drumming, attend a musician meet-up, or try your hand at music trivia! Even if you can’t attend an official event, you can participate at home: Call up your friends for a jam session. Take a break from work for a harmonica lesson. Have a kazoo parade around your neighborhood park. Get your choir group to create a new San Jose theme song. Get creative. Venues can be anywhere. Performers can be anyone. Most importantly, get out there and make music!      Please follow and like...

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! You will need: Six pea seeds per child Quart yogurt containers with a hole in the bottom to allow for drainage Potting soil Popsicle sticks Permanent markers Journals Pens or pencils Activity: Hand out pens or pencils and introduce journals. Have children write their names on their journals. Ask the children to write in their journals (or help them write their answers): “How do you think nature and music are connected?” Name 3 steps you need to take to grow a plant from seed? Draw what a pea looks like as...

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...