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!  ...

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!...

Join us for Kids Discovery Day!

Make some noise at the Tech! We are partnering with KDFC for Kids Discovery Day at the Tech Museum of innovation in San Jose. Join us for a day of instrument making and exploring music at our instrument petting zoo. We will be making instruments such as maracas, water drums, swishy-swashy ribbon wands, drum mallets, pellet drums, and more from recycled materials. Kids will also get to explore many instruments at our instrument petting zoo: xylophones, washboards, guitars, keyboards, drums, and more! Mark your calendars! KDFC Kids Discovery Day at the Tech 10 AM to 3 PM on Sunday February 25, 2018 The Tech Museum of Innovation, 201 S Market St, San Jose, CA 95113...

Celebrate Black History Month with Music and Dance!

This month we observe Black History Month and celebrate the rich history of African and diasporic music and dance. Later this month, as our Spring music enrichment classes start, students in the Bay Area will have the opportunity to learn African Dance, Diasporic Dance, Haitian Dancing and Drumming, World Percussion, Hip Hop Dance, and many more subjects that exemplify the diversity of dance and music in the Bay Area and beyond. If you would like to experience African-American culture in the Bay Area this February, there are many events all month in San Francisco and the East Bay. There are countless ways to observe Black History Month through music and dance! What are your favorite ways to celebrate Black History Month? Tell us in the comments!    ...

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...

Learn About MUST and other Bay Area Arts Educators

On January 25, 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. Once again we’ll be sharing a table with the Teaching Artist Guild. 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. Location: Asian Art Museum 200 Larkin Street San Francisco, CA 94102 We hope to see you there!    ...

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...

Partnering with San Lorenzo for Multi-Cultural Arts Enrichment

This week we’d like to highlight our Music Enrichment program in San Lorenzo! A couple years back, MUST began a small music enrichment program with the San Lorenzo Unified School District. We started with a few music classes and after much success, we have now grown to 24 music, dance, and visual art classes in every elementary and middle school in the district. Classes include Vocal Jam, Street Art, Comic Book Making, African Dance, World Percussion, Salsa Dance, Piano, Guitar, Haitian Dancing, Haitian Drumming, Mexican Music, Paper Arts, Fashion Design, Performing Arts, Peace Choir, Visual Art Studio, Diasporic Dance, Capoeira, Brazilian Dance and Hip Hop Dance! Classes are taught by talented local Bay Area artists who are highly skilled in their craft. More information on our Music Enrichment Program: Music classes help at-risk youth improve school performance and build life skills. Our most popular program provides hand-tailored music classes to schools and community centers. Our trained Teaching Artists can teach during the school day or as part of an after-school program. For more information on how you can bring Music Enrichment classes to your school, email us at info@mustcreate.org!      ...

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!    ...