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...

We #LoveTeaching Artists!

February 14-21 is #LoveTeaching Week, and we love our teaching artists! Teachers are where the pedal of arts education meets the metal of the classroom. Thank you to everyone who inspires, motivates, and cares for kids in the classroom. Author John Steinbeck wrote: “I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. It might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.” Teaching is not an easy job, whether it’s eight hours in a classroom, or 60 minutes after school. But it’s because of the dedication and love that our teaching artists put into their work that kids in the Bay Area have the opportunity to learn Piano, World Percussion, Modern Salsa Dance, and many more invaluable and fun skills. So here’s to our teachers! Thank you for all your hard work!   Please follow and like...

Welcome our new Program Assistant!

We are pleased to give a warm welcome to Megan Udell, our new Program Assistant at Music in Schools Today! Megan is from Rocklin, CA, where she grew up in a family full of artists and musicians. In 2013 she graduated with her BA in Art History and Studio Art from Cal State Channel Islands and received a faculty award for her paper on race and body image in 19th century painting. After college Megan worked as Development Assistant at Studio Channel Islands Art Center in Ventura County, where she also taught art to elementary school students. She worked on the art center’s second annual Fashion Show benefit and led the diversification of the gallery’s store, showcasing the work of over 50 local artists. Since moving to San Francisco, Megan has volunteered at a non-profit art museum, shown her own paintings in a small exhibition, and worked as a Teaching Artist for MUST, teaching paper arts and visual arts. Outside of work, Megan enjoys cooking French cuisine, traveling with her husband, and playing guitar and banjo. She also makes incredible cappuccinos. Please follow and like...

Celebrating 35 Years of Music Education!

  In 2018 Music in Schools Today will be turning 35! We are so honored to be a trusted name for music and arts education in the Bay Area. Here is how we got our start: In 1980, the San Francisco Board of Education was planning to eliminate the elementary school music program. Several concerned citizens, including music critic Robert Commanday, approached Sir Yehudi Menuhin and members of the San Francisco Symphony to make a presentation to the Board. After Sir Menuhin’s inspired address, the Board gave a standing ovation and restored the music budget. San Francisco Instrumental and Theatrical for Youth Fund was formed by members of the original coalition shortly thereafter, including founding President Alden Gilchrist, Louise McTernan and Joan Murray. In 1983, we began funding choral programs in the San Francisco public schools. ​In 1989, we changed our name to Music in Schools Today (MUST) and began supporting music programs in the San Francisco Bay Area, including establishing and supporting many choral, instrumental and comprehensive arts programs. MUST responded to changing school needs by increasing in-school artist programs to reach 28,000 children and youth annu​ally throughout the Bay Area, developing instrumental music, opera, theater and visual arts programs and returning to our original role in advocacy. In response to requests from teachers and parents, MUST is currently developing multicultural and ecological curricula that tie music and arts into other core school subjects like social studies and science, and is establishing programs that are national in scope. ​MUST champions arts education as a rich source of creativity, self-discipline and cooperation for America’s children and youth. MUST has enlisted...

New Year’s Resolutions

  2018 is finally here, and with the new year comes resolutions! This is a time to set goals, make changes, or maybe just try something new. If your resolution is to be healthier, pick up a new hobby or help those that are less fortunate, we have some suggestions for you! Start taking instrument lessons or join a choir. Find a new way to burn calories by dancing. Take a class, go to a dance club, or just turn up the music and dance in your own home! Explore new music genres and expand your tastes. Go see your favorite band live. Or pick a local band you’re never heard before and see them perform. Have a mindful moment accompanied by some soothing music. Clean out your closets, garages, and basements and donate a gently used instruments to MUST. Help change a child’s life through music with a cash donation to support Bay Area music programs. What are your plans for the New Year? Let us know and don’t forget to make it musical! Happy New Year from everyone at Music in Schools Today!       Please follow and like...