Stories From the Instrument Fairy

Have you ever wondered what happens to the instruments that are donated to MUST? Every week we receive gently used instruments at one of our three drop-off locations in the Bay Area. This includes our offices in downtown San Francisco, Music at Kohl Mansion in Burlingame, and the East Bay Center for Performing Arts in Richmond. These instruments are then given to schools who have 65% or more of their students receiving free or reduced lunch. For some schools this means a few more students can take music lessons, for other schools it means they can start a new or lapsed music program. When it comes time to make a delivery, we send out our Instrument Fairy (AKA our Associate Director, Barie)!  “Delivering instruments to schools is the best part of my job! To see the excitement on the children’s faces makes it all worth it.” This fall we will continue our partnership with KDFC to expand our drop-off sites for a two week instrument drive. In 2016 we had 12 locations and received 315 instruments valued at over $50,000. Stay tuned for dates! If you’d like to hear the story of a flute that went from donor to student, you can listen here. And check out what our donors and receipent schools are saying about our Adopt an Instrument program: “You have made our day! Thank you for sharing with us the positive impact of ours and the many other donations. I think this is such a valuable service KDFC is providing to Silicon Valley’s underserved youth.” – Kirk Everett, donor and KDFC listener “I am really grateful for this...

Thank you Green Apple for a Great Partnership

  MUST is committed to buying local and Green Apple Bookstore is helping us to bring literacy and music to over 800 Bay Area students age 3-5. We have been working with our Music First! early education program (preK-2nd) for almost five years now.  What makes our music program unique is that we are offering our program as a music and literacy program.  Involving pre-literacy skill connections between music and literacy is a perfect fit for early learners.  Here are the three things I find make our program unique: Each music lesson, is taught by a professional musician also known as a teaching artist who is able to highlight their instrument and profession as an individual professional artist as well as educator.  We feel it’s important to show young learners that more than just music appreciation, there are wonderful talented and professional musicians making their living as an artist in our rich and culturally diverse home of the Bay Area.   Each lesson in music is paired with a book or story. Music is a language and most studies and experiences prove that students learn to read and learn language faster with the help of music.   We bring the instruments and books into the classroom and give the teachers and the students recordings of the music and the instruments to use, bang on or use for extension activities throughout our residency.  We also align our curriculum with California state standards in Visual and Performing Arts for as young as the preschool level. What I am thrilled about is that this year we reached out to our local bookstore,...

Drawing: An Easy Entry Point to supporting STEAM at home.

STEM education refers to the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. STEAM education incorporates the “A” for the arts – recognizing that to be successful in technical fields, individuals must also be creative and use critical thinking skills which are best developed through exposure to the arts and there are many easy ways to support it at home. Here is a fun activity to introduce the A to STEM with your child at home! Have your child draw a concept.  Creating images is essential to scientific thinking. Scientists do not use words only but rely on diagrams, graphs, videos, photographs, and other images when making discoveries and sharing their findings. Some ideas to get you started: 1)     How to make a sandwich. 2)     How to get to school. 3)     Go on a scavenger hunt.  Have kids sort their findings and journal with words and pictures why they sorted it that way. 4)     Have a water balloon fight.  But first have your kids create the rules for this game.  Have them think about the boundaries in the yard.  Where can you hide?  Where can’t you hide? Have them map it out. 5)     Make a flipbook of your day. Just one word of caution, though. Art is often touted as a method of adding creativity to STEM—but keep in mind that engineers are rarely lacking for creativity and ingenuity. Just look at the world around you for proof. The purpose of STEAM should not be so much to teach art but to apply art in real situations. Applied knowledge leads to deeper learning. Have fun and let us know how your...

STEM to STEAM: How the Arts Impact Education and the Economy

Our friends at Kent State have shared with us this infographic highlighting the importance of STEAM education. Check it out and let us know what you think! Over the years, a lot of relevance and emphasis has been put on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) over art related studies. This is because STEM is considered the future of innovation and has been at the epicenter of all technological and science advancements to date. However, proponents of Arts studies have fought to incorporate the A in STEM. The proponents of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) aim to transform research policy by incorporating Art and design into STEM. Furthermore, the STEAM movement is pushing for the integration of art in K-20 education and is influencing employers to hire designers and artists to drive innovation. Clearly, the arts will play a critical role not only in the education system in the U.S. but also in the country’s economy. To learn more, checkout the infographic below created by Kent State University’s Online Masters in Music Education program.  ...

March in the Parade – A Music Lesson on Finding the Steady Beat

  What better way to get your students ready for the Fourth of July then by having them march in a parade? This lesson plan will teach your kids how to count in groups of two and march in a circle. Goal:  Students feel the pulse or beat in the music by counting in two’s  and marching in a circle. Procedures: Have the children sit in a circle ( it’s preferable if they are sitting on a marked line or red tape.) Play the musical excerpt Stars & Stripes Forever (you can find it free here ) Have students tap out the beat or pulse on their knees. Have them clap the beat Next, have them count in groups of 2.   (While clapping beat say: 1-2-1-2-1-2) Ask them to stand up and stomp the beat while standing in circle Repeat these if you times in order to reinforce the concept When you think they are ready. ask them to begin marching to the right  on the beat.  This make take some practice.   Remember to have fun and……  Happy Fourth of July        ...

Summer Activities for Kids of All Ages

Tomorrow is the Summer Solstice and school has been out for a couple weeks here in the Bay Area. Are you starting to run out of activities to do with your kids already? Well we have you covered! Get out there and enjoy the fresh air, or stay in and play some music. Either way, enjoy your time off because Fall is just around the corner and school will start before you know it! Sunday Streets SF Where to Take Kids in the Bay Area 27 Things to do With Kids in San Francisco 50 Things to Do Now, Bay Area Summer Programs, Bay Area 101 Fun Things to Do With Kids this Summer  ...

Alphabet Rockers: A Fun Musical Experience For You and Your Child This Summer!

Meet Tommy Shepard Jr.!  This wonderful musician has partners with Music In Schools Today bringing residencies to Bay Area youth. Tommy is also the Musical Director for Alphabet Rockers. Alphabet Rockers spark an intergenerational conversation about the world through music and dance for all ages. Partnering with thought leaders on anti-bias and child development, they create empowering, engaging concerts and activities for young children, families, and educators. Each performance  is an energetic, authentic hip hop experience that delivers messages of empathy and acceptance to the area’s youngest concert goers. Want to get moving to music that moves you and your child? You are in for a treat this summer because they are touring all over the Bay Area. Check out their next show this summer.  Many of their concerts are free!...

How to Raise Money for Bay Area Music Programs through Facebook

MUST is having a 30 day campaign to raise $50,000 to save music and art programs throughout the Bay Area. We’re calling it: 30 Days to 50k! $50,000 will help schools continue their music programming that has been completely cut for the 2017 and 2018 school year. It will also allow us to grow our Adopt an Instrument program to get musical instruments into the hands of students that do not have one. There are many ways you can help! One way is to create a Facebook Fundraiser and ask your friends to donate. It’s very easy to set up! Set a goal as to how much you want to raise. $2,000 is a great amount! Open your home page on Facebook and find the fundraiser button on the left sidebar.  Click “Fundraisers” and click “Raise Money”. You will then be prompted with a series of questions. Here’s the info you’ll need: We are a nonprofit with 501(c)3 status Our name is: Music In Schools Today Title:  Save music in our schools!   Description: Help MUST raise $50,000 by June 1, to provide 28,000 students with music in the fall.  $25 dollars will help one student have music and arts programming for a whole year. $800 will any entire class music/art for one year! I am raising money for three classes, please help me raise $2,400! Thank you for helping raise money for Music in Schools Today!  If you have any questions, send us an email at: info@mustcreate.org We are all in this together.  Let’s make the world a better place through...

5 Ways To Save The Arts at Your Local School

From the start of this year, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of arts programs who are losing their funding. Since 1983, Music in Schools Today has provided a safety net to schools who have had their music programs cut and our mission is now more important than ever. Here in the Bay Area we know that the art, music, theater, and dance are core curriculum and we have always fought to keep the arts in schools. We need your help in order to keep our programs funded for the next school year. On May 3rd, MUST will kick-off a 30 day campaign to raise $50,000 to save music and art programs throughout the Bay Area. We’re calling it: 30 Days to 50k! $50,000 will help schools continue their music programming that has been completely cut for the 2017 and 2018 school year. It will also allow us to grow our Adopt an Instrument program to get musical instruments into the hands of students that do not have one. Ways to Help: Make a donation online Start your own Facebook fundraiser for MUST Add MUST to your Amazon Smile account so a portion of the sales come to us Ask your employer if they will match a donation Donate a gently used instrument   We are all in this together.  Let’s make the world a better place through music!        ...
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