Celebrate Women’s History Month: Five Notable Women in Music History

Celebrate Women’s History Month: Five Notable Women in Music History

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 latter half of the 19th century and well into the 20th century.” Above, left to right: Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, Clara Schumann, Carrie Jacobs-Bond, Dorothy Fields, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.   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 1800s 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 won...

How Reverb has helped us put more instruments into kids’ hands!

Reverb Gives is helping us make the world more musical. Thanks to Reverb, we’re putting more musical instruments into the hands of students who need them! This Fall, Music in Schools Today provided 55 classes and over 1,300 children in the Bay Area with quality music education. We’ve been teaching and advocating for music education for over 35 years, but everyone needs a little help from time to time. That’s why we are so grateful to Reverb.com for their generous donation of instruments for our programs! Thanks to their support, we were able to provide instruments for several Music Enrichment classes, as well as musical instrument kits for our Music First! classes. These include guitars, drums, shakers, and various percussion instruments which are being used every week by students for pre-K through 8th grade! Thanks to Reverb, we’ve been able to put 184 instruments in the hands of children in our community just this Fall. We’ve taught them how to play their instruments to express themselves and set them up on the path of achievement in school and in the arts. Much thanks to the folks at Reverb.com for their support of music education and Music in Schools...
The Five Best Talks from SXSW EDU 2019

The Five Best Talks from SXSW EDU 2019

Last week was the SXSW EDU Conference and Festival, an event that invites educators and visionaries to speak on topics covering all aspects of education today. SXSW EDU features a diverse array of speakers, sessions, workshops, learning experiences, policy discussions and film screenings programmed to foster learning and discovery for all education stakeholders. Below are 5 of the best talks from this year’s conference, guaranteed to inspire anyone interested in improving education. Stick around for #5 on why music matters in shaping the next generation! 1. Jennifer Gonzalez on the Aerodynamics of Exceptional Schools  “In any school, just as in air travel, different forces impact our progress: some of these forces push us forward and lift us up, while others pull us back and drag us down. The success of our schools depends largely on how well we manage these forces. By applying wisdom from change management theory, instructional coaching, the tech industry, and even the fitness world, we can learn how to fight weight and drag, increase lift and thrust, and make our schools truly exceptional.” [link]   2. LeVar Burton and Alicia Levi in A Gift of Literacy “We can change the world with literacy, it’s the key to freedom, I genuinely believe that.” -LeVar Burton [link]   3. Patrick Awuah Jr on Turning Challenges into Opportunities “Education is the harbinger of hope for communities facing impossible challenges. While Africa’s image is often equated with poverty and conflict, the continent has the potential for rapid development. Ashesi University exemplifies this potential with a model focused on equipping students with leadership development, firm ethical foundations and entrepreneurial thinking. In doing so, Ashesi...
Happy Music in our Schools Month!

Happy Music in our Schools Month!

Spring is almost here. It’s finally March and that can only mean one thing: its Music in Our Schools Month! Music In Our Schools Month began as a single statewide Advocacy Day and celebration in New York on March 14, 1973, and grew over the decades to become a month-long celebration of school music in 1985. The celebration lengthened as teachers asked for more time to showcase their music programs. 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. This year, NAfME and MioSM are encouraging EVERYONE to take part in Music in our Schools Month by launching this year’s theme: All People, All Music. The purpose of MIOSM is to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children – and to remind citizens that school is where all children should have access to music. MIOSM is an opportunity for music teachers to bring their music programs to the attention of the school and the community, and to display the benefits that school music brings to students of all ages. We encourage you to get involved! Music in our Schools Month is open to all, and their website even lists ways to celebrate here. These ideas include: Change your profile picture for Music In Our Schools Month during March! Share photos of how you celebrate Music In Our Schools Month with your students and your community on Instagram and Twitter using #AllMusicAllPeople and ‪#‎MIOSM. Don’t forget to tag @NAfME! See how other schools are celebrating Music In Our Schools Month. “Toot your own horn” with an article on your school website...
Increase your happiness by 7%–volunteer for MUST!

Increase your happiness by 7%–volunteer for MUST!

Spring is almost here! Why not turn over a new leaf? Volunteer your time with Music in Schools Today and help bring music to schools in the Bay Area! April is National Volunteer Month, and there is no better time to begin volunteering to expand our music education programs. With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. Giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health. Helping others kindles happiness, as many studies have demonstrated. When researchers at the London School of Economics examined the relationship between volunteering and measures of happiness in a large group of American adults, they found the more people volunteered, the happier they were. Compared with people who never volunteered, the odds of being “very happy” rose 7% among those who volunteer monthly and 12% for people who volunteer every two to four weeks. (Source)   There are several ways you can volunteer with Music in Schools Today: Become a board member Exercise your visionary and leadership skills by becoming a member of the board! Our Board of Directors and Advisory Board provide valuable assistant to Music in Schools Today. Donate your time to a marketing campaign Help raise funds for MUST by volunteering for a marketing campaign. Your time will help bring in donations to fund music education! Volunteer at special events Volunteer to help MUST staff at special events and fundraisers! Have fun and help raise funds for Music in Schools Today.   Our volunteers play an important role in the expansion...
New study shows music motivates learning!

New study shows music motivates learning!

It seems like every day, more studies come out about the power of music to empower the human brain and promote learning. Of course, these studies only reinforce what we’ve known all along: that music education–and music in general–promotes success in students and adults! The most recent study underscoring this truth comes from McGill University in Montreal. This new study concludes that shown that we can use music to activate the brain’s reward center and motivate learning based on the correct prediction of outcomes. Basically, the more music you listen to, the more your brain recognizes patterns in the composition of the piece. When the piece of music you are listening to confirms these patterns your brain is predicting, the brain’s reward center is activated, and learning increases! Our results demonstrate that musical events can elicit formally modeled reward prediction errors like those observed for concrete rewards, such as food or money, and that these signals support learning. This implies that predictive processing might play a much wider role in reward and pleasure than previously realized.” Benjamin Gold, author of the study Scientific evidence that music is rewarding and pleasurable? Perhaps we implicitly knew this already, but this study confirms the fact that music itself is an end, and not just a means to an end. “This finding,” reports Medical News Today, “indicates that music is, in itself, a viable reward and one that can provide enough motivation to the brain to learn new information that will allow it to access this source of pleasure more easily.” So keep listening to music, thinking about music, and reap the rewards of pleasure, motivation,...
Get a head start on your Spring cleaning–donate an instrument today!

Get a head start on your Spring cleaning–donate an instrument today!

Does the rain have you stuck inside this month looking for something to do? What better time to take stock of your closet, shed, 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, closet, or under your bed 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...

Welcome our new MUST Staff!

  MUST has recently had the privilege of hiring two new talented staff members! Meet Marlena and Pedro, our new General Manager and Program Manager: Marlena Cannon comes to MUST with over eight years experience working in museums and non-profits. After graduating with an MA in Art Gallery & Museum Studies from the University of Manchester, she worked in a number of museums in England and in the Bay Area. Most recently, Marlena worked as the Recruiting and Staffing Coordinator with Adventures in Writing Camp. In this role, she was responsible for recruiting and staffing dynamic teachers, musicians and camp counselors for 40 writing camp locations in Northern and Southern California. Although she has been working in the arts primarily for many years, Marlena has always had one foot in the education world.  Before embarking on her journey in museums, Marlena taught with AmeriCorps supporting the school day staff and leading an after-school art class in a small school in Oakland. Working with AmeriCorps gave her the opportunity to share her passion for reading, the arts, and music. As a native San Franciscan, Marlena can be found enjoying all the fantastic museums, food and live shows the Bay Area has to offer. She is also a novice yogi and a very enthusiastic English soccer fan!   Pedro Rivas Lopez is a passionate Artist. Pedro immigrated to the United States at the age of 5, and his family established themselves in rural Fresno County in the small town of Mendota, California. Pedro made his debut as a performer at the University of California Santa Cruz, where he served as part of the leadership...
See you at the Arts Education Resource Fair!

See you at the Arts Education Resource Fair!

Tomorrow,  January 30th, MUST will be exhibiting at the Arts Education Resource Fair from 4:00pm to 6:00pm. This event is a great resource to learn about all the organizations providing arts education in the Bay Area! This event is a perfect opportunity for parents, teachers, administrators, teaching artists, and arts education advocates to meet representatives from a wide range of arts provider organizations in the Bay Area. Visit every table at the resource fair to: * Discover arts education programs. * Plan field trips and create partnerships. * Become an arts education advocate. * Bring the rich artistic diversity of San Francisco to your classroom. To learn more about this event, and to register, visit the event page here. Time: 4:00 – 6:00 pm Location: Asian Art Museum, 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 We hope to see you there!  ...

When Tech and Music Collide!

How do you play a bicycle? Does a pendulum always sound how you’d think? As music educators become more and more acquainted with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics), the more creative work is made and the more we realize just how much there is to discover at the intersection of technology and art! Paul Leary with one of his instruments. In celebration of the golden anniversary of the Apollo 8 space mission, artist Paul Leary combined science and music into a composition called “Larger Than Us” at the Museum of Science and Technology in Syracuse, NY last weekend. Leary is a professor of audio design, production, and music at SUNY Oswego. He writes and performs “choral music inspired by early Renaissance polyphony and some beat-based electronic music in addition to popular electronic compositions.” During the performance, in cooperation with the Center for New Music, Leary played the composition with instruments of his own design. The instruments combine science, mechanics, and music and were accompanied by a seven-piece chamber ensemble to evoke the vastness and complexities of space. These electronic instruments, Leary explains in a WNYC interview, are in-sync with a video track and a screen which tells the conductor of the chamber ensemble the tempo and the beat of the recorded portions of the composition. The conductor, Heather Buckman, then watches the information about the track on the screen while conducting the musicians–no small feat! The biggest challenge, Leary says, of performing the piece, is staying on tempo with the recorded portion of the composition visually while conducting the ensemble in real time. Paul Leary’s aim in...