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...

MUSTKazoo is a Must-Do!

School budgets are being cut all over the country, and music programs are often first on the chopping block. Music is as essential to a well-rounded education as literacy, math, and science. It promotes physical well-being, social understanding, and helps build bridges within local and global communities. What can we do about these cuts? How can we ensure music programs continue in our schools? MUSTKazoo is a fun and creative way to raise money for music education! Simply record a song on kazoo, donate and tag your friends to do the same! Together we can save music in schools.     How can you participate? Grab a kazoo, a friend, and your phone or computer and film a video! Film yourself playing a song on kazoo and other classroom instruments with your bandmates, colleagues, friends, or children. Xylophone, rhythm sticks, jingle bells-the sky is the limit! Then submit your song to kazoo@mustcreate.org. Once you’ve uploaded your video, make a donation to the MUSTKazoo challenge! Donations can be as small as $1 and as large as your imagination. 100% of your donation goes toward funding music education in schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Next, challenge two more people to do the same! Use the hashtags #mustkazoo and #kazoochallenge and send your video to friends. Challenge them to play their own song on kazoo and donate to the cause themselves. Your song could be featured on the MUSTKazoo website and on social media! Visit www.mustkazoo.org for more information. Have fun, go viral, and raise money for music education!   ...

Celebrate World Book Day!

April 23rd is World Book Day! Let’s celebrate all week by reading with friends, family, old and young alike! We celebrate the joys of books and reading in schools every week! Music in Schools Today’s Music First! program pairs books with music lessons to promote literacy in preschool and Pre-K classes. Favorite books from this program include Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, and The Animal Orchestra. Music First! supports sequential music education by introducing it to our youngest learners while encouraging reading skills in the classroom and at home. You can help us help young musicians and readers by participating in Amazon’s World Book Day celebration through your Amazon Smile account! Start with 6 book from Prime Reading or choose from books in First Reads. Listen to A.A. Milne’s Winnie The Pooh, Jane Austen’s Emma, or Herman Melville’s Moby Dick for free with the Audible app. Or download up to nine award-winning Kindle books from around the world for free! Don’t forget to choose Music in Schools Today from Amazon Smile’s selection of non-profits. It’s a wonderful way to support arts education while finding a new read to observe World Book...

This Spring, donate to keep music in schools!

Olga Ilyin is a dedicated teacher at the preschool program in San Bruno Park Unified School District. She works hard to ensure her students learn the core skills needed to enter and excel in primary school. After starting Music First! classes with her students, she has seen an increase in participation and enthusiasm with the children because their lessons incorporate rhythm, percussion instruments, and songs. “We love our Music First! Teaching Artist and the students love him too! This year I took the African song “Tse Tse Kule” and mixed it into a parade through our classroom. I’ve made suggestions to our site supervisor that we should incorporate our program into the graduation ceremony.” Olga is just one of over 75 teachers utilizing MUST’s classes to enhance the learning of 2,500 students each semester here in the Bay Area. Thanks to donors like you, we can continue to reach the children that need it most. Music in Schools Today leads the way in ensuring every child in the Bay Area has access to quality music education! We are asking you to make a donation keep our classes in schools so that teachers like Olga can continue to include music education in their classrooms. $100 provides 20 students with one hour of music education and $500 provides instruments for an entire music class. A donation of $2500 provides 20 students a semester-long music class, and $5000 provides 20 students a yearlong music class. Our programs provide gently used instruments, improve literacy skills in our pre-school program, and teach about new cultures in our elementary school program.  This year our musical...

Making teachers’ dreams come true: funding education projects

Teachers all over the country were in for a big surprise last week: cryptocurrency company Ripple donated $29 million to fund more than 35,000 classroom requests on education crowdfunding site DonorsChoose. Surprised and overjoyed, teachers whose projects had been funded took to Twitter to tweet about the projects that were funded. This is the first gift to cover all currently-active projects on DonorsChoose. This donation goes a long way toward funding the millions of dollars in educational supply and funding needs. In most states, school funding has gradually improved since 2015, but some states that cut very deeply after the recession hit are still providing much less support.  As of the current 2017-18 school year, at least 12 states have cut general funding by 7 percent or more per student over the last decade, according to a survey we conducted using state budget documents. (Source) And this says nothing of extracurricular or arts and music funding! Only 19% of total donations in the United States go toward education. (Source) In 2006, 22% of elementary schools noted a reduction in music and art education to fund other programs, and high-poverty schools offering music education dropped from 100% in 1999-2000 to 81% in 2009-2010. This is why your support and donations matter now more than ever! You can make a critical difference with your tax-deductible donation.  To keep free music programs available to children, we need your help! Please donate today at musicinschoolstoday.org!...

Turn over a new leaf this Spring: volunteer with MUST!

  Spring is officially 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...

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...