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...

Making Music in the Garden, Part 2

This post is a continuation of a lesson from June called 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! In our last lesson, we planted pea plants and learned about how plants grow and are tended through singing the song “Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley Grow”. In this lesson, we will build on that knowledge, and introduce new information about how our pea plants are growing! You will need: Picture of pea plant, labeled with plant parts Large paper with words “Roots, Stems, Leaves, Flowers, Fruits, Seeds” Activity: Review the previous...

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!   ...

We got the grant!

It’s a BIG day in the MUST office, because we got the grant! Grants totaling $16,376,475 have been awarded to nonprofit organizations and units of government across California this week by the California Arts Council, and Music in Schools Today is one of the organizations receiving support for programs. “To show support for these organizations-the ones who inspire and make those crucial connections to creativity and culture within our communities-it’s a confirmation of our faith in and gratitude for that vision. This is without a doubt the most fulfilling aspect of our work as Council Members each year, to recognize those doing real, organic work to make a difference for the people of California.” Music in Schools Today has received TWO grants for the 2018-2019 year: Organizational Development: The Organizational Development program (formerly the Consulting strand of the Professional Development and Consulting program) builds nonprofit arts organizations’ capacity for success through small grants to support consulting services, and Artists in Schools: The Arts Education: Artists in Schools program supports projects that integrate community arts resources-local artists and nonprofit arts organizations-into comprehensive, standards-based arts-learning for PreK-12 students during the school day. Applicants’ projects must take place during regular school hours at the school site, and should address the unique circumstances of the school environment. Thanks to these grants, MUST is able to continue providing exceptional music education in the Bay Area, especially with regard to our Music First! music and literacy program! “Our state is the most creative state in the country, by far. There’s no shortage to the hunger for arts and culture experiences. Governor Brown and our legislators have...

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...

Can “Dad Rock” make you a better person?

Everyone has those songs that take them back to their childhood–the music their parents played when they were running errands, washing the car, or driving long stretches on a road trip. The lullabies and hymns that were sung at home. Even if we didn’t particularly like the old-fashioned music at the time, we still have an affinity for it. There are even genres dedicated to the music our parents listened to: Dad Rock and Mom Rock! But a new study from the University of Arizona shows that these shared music moments can result in more than just nostalgia. Apparently, shared musical engagement between parents and children can result in healthier parent-child relationships later in life. “Our first shared musical experiences, like our first encounters with verbal and nonverbal communication, are typically with parents. The type and frequency of parent-child musical interactions change with the relationship’s evolution, but shared engagement with music is not uncommon across the parent-child relational lifespan. Can these shared musical experiences positively influence relational quality?” Sandy D. Wallace To find the answer to this questions, researchers collected data from young adults, surveying their perceptions of support and depth, conflict, closeness, and shared identity with parents, and whether these parents shared music with them. These musical experiences could include going to concerts, playing music together, or merely listening to and appreciating music as a family. Such incidents could be structured–intentional in some way and including some sort of interpersonal communication– or casual–incidental or spontaneous. This data revealed that children who had these experiences grew up to have better interpersonal coordination, empathy, and quality of relationships with the parents who shared music with them. “Due to...

Happy Teacher Appreciation Day!

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7-11 Today is Teacher Appreciation Day! We’d like to take a moment and thank all the teachers reading for everything they do. We’d especially like to thank our Teaching Artists! Without them, MUST’s achievements in music education would not be possible. To recognize our Teaching Artists, here are some of their thoughts on teaching, in their own words:   “Students use the skills they learned outside the classroom. I can hear them singing together outside. I also enjoy the conversations about their parents and grandparents knowing the songs they learned and singing with them.” “I gave them opportunities where I asked them to teach something new to their peers. We often worked in pairs with time for exploring and problem-solving on their own.” “Students learned how to effectively work together in a group as a band. This provided a point of cohesion within the group and eventually led to comradery and respect between students in the class.” “The class gave the students the opportunity to develop confidence, musical skills not only singing but learning to recognize musical notations, and understanding different cultures.”   “I really enjoyed showing and teaching these students about the different uses of all the mediums were utilized this semester. Having answers to their infinite questions about what everything is used for or how to create or draw something new is always a great feeling.” What did you enjoy most about your teaching? “As always, the students!!!” Don’t forget to thank a teacher this week! Write a letter, give a gift, or celebrate using one of these seven meaningful ways to thank...