Spring cleaning means donating instruments!

The weather is getting warmer and the sun is out! You know what that means: it’s time for Spring cleaning. What better time to take stock of your closet, 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, 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...

Around the World in 4 Songs – Happy Spring Equinox!

Happy Spring Equinox! Today is one of two days in the year when there is just as much daylight as night. It’s also officially the beginning of Spring! To celebrate, here is a small collection of music played during Spring and equinox celebrations all over the world. Maslenitsa is the brightest, funniest and most entertaining of Russian holidays. It is an Eastern Slavic religious and folk holiday, celebrated during the last week before Great Lent. People celebrate with blini, sledding, horse sleigh riding, and music!     In Iran, the festival of No Ruz begins shortly before the Spring equinox. No Ruz (or Nowruz) means “new day,” and this is a time of hope and rebirth. The Iranian new year begins on the day of the equinox, and typically people celebrate by getting outside for a picnic or other activity with their loved ones.   The Hilaria were ancient Roman religious festivals celebrated on the Spring equinox to honor Cybele, the mother of the gods. All kinds of games and amusements were allowed on this day; masquerades were the most prominent among them, and everyone might, in his disguise, imitate whomsoever he liked, and even political officials. Hilaria may be the ancient origins of April Fools Day!   Whuppity Scoorie is a traditional festival dating from the early 19th century observed by people in Lanark, Scotland, on 1 March to celebrate the approach of spring. Originally as children run through the streets waving paper balls on strings over their heads, fathers and grandfathers would sing, “Hooray, boys, hooray, For we have won the day; We’ve met the bold New Lanark boys, And chased them through the brae!”   How do you celebrate Spring with music? Let...

Triple Your Donation to Music Education!

This month, donate to Music in Schools Today through Amazon Smile! Amazon Smile partners with almost one million non-profits and charities to donate a portion of sales from their site to worthy causes. You can give to Music in Schools Today every time you purchase from Amazon by purchasing through the Amazon Smile site. This month, Amazon Smile is tripling the money they donate! This is a wonderful way to support arts education while shopping for your everyday purchases for your home or business. Put that tax refund to good use and support music education while treating yourself! And thank you for your...

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!    ...