Music First!

Our Music First! Residency is designed as a music integration curriculum that teaches toddlers and young children in grades Pre-K through second grade.  We offer language acquisition and literacy skills through the lens of music education. Music First! enhances school readiness skills, such as social and emotional development, problem-solving and the ability to work independently and with others.

Please email or call (415) 392-9010 for more information!


Music First! (Head Start)

This curriculum has been created as a result of previous music integration studies that we have participated in (Oakland Music Integration Learning Environments): which demonstrate conclusively that early learning interventions are the most effective in language acquisition Pre-k through 2.  For young students and especially for those struggling with English as a second language;  music provides a bridge to early language acquisition, reading readiness, increased creativity, and social-emotional skills. Music is especially effective in reaching children who may have a different way of learning than conventional teaching methods.


Each Music First! lesson is aligned with Head Start Frameworks as is broken down into four parts over 30 minutes. Our teaching artist will lead students through this sequence.  Classroom teachers are asked to do a simple follow-up lesson outlined in the curriculum. Below is an example:

Invitation to Music Circle

2 minutes

Song:  Come Join in the Circle and start with a song or musical activity


Music Circle Time: Standing

3 minutes

Move/Sing/to recorded or non-recorded music and/or songs, playing a beat on different body parts


Music Circle Time: Sitting

10 minutes


Rhythm integration with Language/Math Acquisition

Specific integrated songs and games: Bear Hunt, Rocks, playing body and instruments along with songs and games, playing patterns with body and instruments


Music and Movement Time:

5 minutes

Freeze Dance for specific goals (high/low, fast/slow, expressing emotions, expressing imaginative situation etc.)


Each lesson or activity is designed to promote school readiness by enabling children to develop literacy, numeracy, pattern recognition reasoning, problem-solving, listening and decision-making skills that form a foundation for school readiness learning. Students will also

•Develop positive, nurturing relationships with adults and peers

•Develop a sense of trust and security

•Identify and solve problems

•Express thoughts and feelings

•Think critically

•Increase self-confidence

•Respect the feelings and rights of others

•Use creativity and imagination

•Work independently and with others

•Track from left to right

What’s happening now and what we do with our assessment data:

For 2015/2016 we are in our third and final phase of a pilot study.  What that means is that we have met with classroom teachers in the Headstart program to ask what we can do better.  We have received great suggestions on books and activities that enhance the program.  We have been told what works and what does not and we have changed and edited our curriculum accordingly.  In addition, we are assessing your students in the curriculum to help us better understand to serve them.  We conduct a group assessment that follows the curriculum to see if students are progressing with the program.  We conduct a group assessment on the first day, during the middle and at the end.  If you don’t notice anything different we won’t be surprised as the assessment is designed to be done throughout the class in a seamless manner.  It helps us know what markers are working for students and what might need extra attention.

Participating classrooms will receive:

  • A copy of the written curriculum with lyrics to the songs
  • A CD of songs
  • A CD for every child and their family
  • Music Kit: a musical and literary kit that will live in the classroom for the duration of the residency with books, musical instruments, and visual resources
  • A parent component: Parents will be invited to participate in some of the activities and learn about how to bring music to their home when we can attend one of the monthly parent meetings.
  • Materials for making instruments in Lesson #14

Music First! in Your School or Daycare

We are offering our Music First! program to schools with pre-K and TK programs. Please email or call (415) 392-9010 for more information on pricing and details.