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Music for Minors

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Music

Mission: To nurture in children a lifelong love of music.

Target demographics: Elementary school music

Direct beneficiaries per year: 25,000 transitional kindergarten through fifth graders at 62 schools

Geographic areas served: The San Francisco Bay Area

Programs: Music for Minors is a nonprofit with 40 years of expertise in elementary school music education. The Music for Minors curriculum is sequential and varied, including visual aids, props, and instruments. Lessons include singing, listening, reading, theory, movement, dancing, and playing rhythm instruments and recorders. Our volunteer and professional teachers are trained in general music, recorders, and classroom management.

Community Stories

22 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

My two children were fortunate enough to have Music for Minors as their music program in elementary school. My kids always came home excited on music days and shared the songs they sang at school. This is a great program that gives young kids a love for music.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been associated with Music for Minors for over 40 years. I started out teaching for them and later became a board member and chair of the board. It is a wonderful organization that now serves over 25,000 children in the Bay Area who otherwise would not have music in the classroom. There is tremendous energy at MFM. We are continually upgrading our quality curriculum and bringing the best teachers and volunteers to our organization. The science has proven again and again the importance of music in brain development and enjoyment of school. It works in both capacities to help kids flourish.
We are fortunate to have MFM bringing music to so many Bay Area kids!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Looking back on 10 years with the Music for Minors Board from which I've recently retired, the strong, multi-talented management team and strong Board stand out. After high growth, the management team and Board are now regrouping and refreshing with new talent. The way they are going about this speaks volumes about the quality of the organization and gives assurance that they are on their way to bigger and better. Everybody likes children and music. But this organization is extraordinary.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

MFM is an authentic, amazing, and outstanding organization. What they offer is to provide quality of music education to elementary schools, with their heart and passion. And MFM staff are also wonderful to work with. I am one of their contracted music teacher who have never worked for any organization like MFM with high level of organization skills and thoughtful people. I hope that MFM will be continuously expand their business and that more and more children will be exposed to the wonderful music world!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Music for Minors is one of the best non-profits that effectively and efficiently puts music education into schools. The organization is led by dedicated staff and volunteers that feel passionate about the importance of having music as a part of the school curriculum.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Music for Minors filled and continues to fill a void of elementary school enrichment through music. One of the points I want to address is that, personally, it gave me the training to be a successful music docent and give back to my community in a very worthwhile, meaningful way. We all have talents. Sometimes they are a little hidden, or go unshared. I have always loved music and play several instruments. But, again, the structure, training, and name of Music for Minors added tremendously to my ability to enrich children's lives through music for over 10 years.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Music For Minors is an established and respected nonprofit in the San Francisco Bay Area. They provide quality music education in schools where students would otherwise go without. I have been involved with them in one way or another since 1988 and continue to support the important work they do. I myself am a retired elementary school music teacher.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a parent with two children who were educated by Music for Minors in their early elementary years, I would like to say how grateful I am to the organization. They do a wonderful job of nurturing a love and appreciation for music. As my children have grown, music has remained an important part of their lives and has been a source of joy and means of self-expression. They were so fortunate to have been touched as young people by this remarkable organization.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I teach for Music for Minors and I couldn't be happier with this nonprofit. This organization is getting music to children which is so important for their development. I have found Music for Minors to be incredibly professional, supportive, and effective in achieving their goal of getting music education to school aged children. I am very grateful to be part of this amazing nonprofit!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a 62 year old retired Acoustical Engineering Consultant with a strong background in vocal and trombone music making when I first heard about Music for Minors. I decided to give it a try. I went through their 13 week training program and became a classroom docent at a Title 1 school. At first I was afraid that the huge difference in our ages would make it difficult for me to have a rapport with the kids. But it turned out otherwise. For that year and five more, I had a ball teaching them about music notation, different musical instruments, and even dances. After six years teaching, I spent another six years on the board of this great organization. At age 81, I still support it and continue to believe in their mission. All kids deserve to be exposed to music.

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MFM is an amazing organization that has allowed me to personally make a positive contribution to the lives of hundreds of young kids through music. I didn't learn of MFM until, at the age of 61, I was retired from a PHD level engineering job and self-employed by my own acoustical consulting company. As a youth I had played the trombone in numerous bands, and ever since my teenage years, I had been singing in choruses and choirs. Therefore, having the available time and the musical background, I was in a perfect position to take advantage of MFM's program. I took the amazing 14-week training course they provide through a local community college, and in late 1998, I walked into my first classroom, a third grade at a Title 1 (less affluent) school in San Jose. When I looked at the 33 faces staring at me, I noticed that nearly all of them had black hair (my hair was blonde at that age). I wondered if I would be able to establish a rapport with kids young enough to be my grandchildren and with kids from cultures somewhat different from mine. I needn't have worried. Music seems to easily overcome age and ethnic differences. I taught them songs I had learned in camp when I was that age. I taught them folk dances I had learned in graduate school. I taught them basic musical symbols and notation. I taught them rhythmic claps that we then used to reward classroom accomplishments. I brought in instrumentalist friends, who explained their instruments and often let the kids try to play them. We put on performances for the parents. The kids loved it, and so did I. For five additional years, I was a MFM docent at three different San Jose schools. Unlike many docents, I didn't have kids in a particular school, so I went wherever MFM needed me. As my confidence grew, I gradually increased the number of classes I taught. It was especially gratifying when, between classes, I would wander out on the playground at recess and see kids teaching other kids the songs and dances I had taught them. After I stopped teaching, I joined the board, and have been on it for the last three years.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the early 1990's, when my oldest was starting Kindergarten, I discovered to my dismay that there was no music program at their school!! I savvy PTA president referred me to Music for Minors, and a few of us parents banded together and took the very comprehensive training program, and went on to start a music program at one elementary school that was so well loved that a full time music teacher was hired by the district (they now have more than 1), and the program grew to covering program 3 elementary schools and one middle school, and included annual musicals!
Also, at our elementary school, there was a tragic accident on a Thursday afternoon and we (the docents) were teaching 6 classes on Friday a.m. To be singing together (and specifically a song we already had learned, called "Together Tomorrow" by Tom Chaplin,) was uplifting and comforting for us all.
Music is a universal language that speaks to us all in some way. And the facets of learning music are so multi-cultural and multi-dimensional, ranging from physical to intellectual to emotional learning, there is so much to be gained. Having taught in the program both as a docent and as a professional educator on and off for over 20 years, I can only say it is a wonderful investment to make in our children!!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

To be a member of the Music for Minors family is an honor and a privilege because our mission is to BRING MUSIC INTO THE LIVES OF CHILDREN WHO WOULD NOT EXPERIENCE AND ASSIMILATE A LIFELONG LOVE OF MUSIC.

Speaking as an elementary school teacher with a passion for music, I believe a childs learning modalities are stimulated when music is an integral part of their lives be it in or out of the classroom setting. Music effects moods, body rhythms, relationships, and more.
MFM has and will continue to enrich childrens inner and outer beings and provide our next generations with a ZEST in every realm of development.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a principal pf a school in San Mateo. We love the Music for Minors program! the docents are amazing! Our children love when they are there and they love the lessons. Working with the MFM group does put extra work on my plate- it completely enriches our school!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Music for Minors Program is great. Our primary students develop a strong musical foundation. Most of the participants go on to play instruments in middle schhol and high school. In a age when schools are cutting electives and extras, Music for Minors offers students an essential ingredient to a well rounded education.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the fall of 1999, I received fantastic training from Music for Minors that has allowed me to share my love of music with over 1000 young students in the last ten years. The information I received, the resources I have had available, and the support for my efforts in teaching music under the sponsorship of Music for Minors has been invaluable. Without this, the school at which I volunteer would not have a music program for the younger students (K-3).

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a docent for 7 years, providing 1/2 hour music classes to two local 2nd grade classrooms. Music for Minors trains its docents (the training is thorough and brilliant), develops the relationships with the schools, and provides ongoing support. All you have to do is prepare your lessons and show up to give them. MFM offers docents free workshops throughout the year so they can continue to build their repertoire and skills. I can't speak highly enough about MFM. It provides a critical need for our children. Arts are basic!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For ten years I have been teaching in the MFM music program which reaches into classrooms that have no specific music program in their curriculum. Music for Minors prepares their teachers with a college course in the basics of music, then supplies them with a library of materials to use in the classroom. Each week we go into the classrooms and provide the students with singing, movement and rhythm instruments. There are always on-going programs to give MFM teachers new materials and ideas to enhance their programs. The quality and generous spirit that you find in MFM teachers is truly an inspiration. We are there to share music to all children. When a school decides to hire a music teacher, we then leave and know that our mission in music has been accomplished.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Once upon a time, my friend Ellie convinced me to become a MFM docent and share my love of music with our most important gifts, our children. As I began the discovery of what music does for children, I realized the credibility of Music for Minors and its rich resources. As a passionate elementary teacher, I believe that in order to raise a whole child, music must be an integral part of their daily routine. I am so proud to still be enveloped in Music for Minors, 22 years later!

8

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first found out about Music for Minors (MFM)in 2004, and it sounded like just the organization I was looking for to expand the music offerings at my children's elementary school. The staff at MFM was very supportive of my efforts to start the MFM program at Marshall Lane. The docent training program led by Chris Burke is excellent, and it gave me a solid foundation for teaching music in the classroom. The wealth of resources available to new and continuing docents is fantastic. I truly enjoyed my five years as a docent with MFM.

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a founding member of Music for Minors I have been privileged to see how music in our public schools has enriched and enhanced education for our children,. They learn to clap, sing, move and use sequential learning which helps in all academic work. We teach about 7,000 children per year and have been in Santa Clara, San Mateo Counties for over 30 years. Without this program, children would have no music. It is essential to contiue to this program. Without it we will leave a gap in our society where as adults, none of these children will have any appreication for the arts.

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

MFM is a truly amazing organization. Not only does this organization allow children to gain an understanding of music that they would not otherwise have, they also do so with an unbelievably low budget. For over 20 years, this organization has relied on donations to offer training to thousands of Bay Area students. Through its various fund raising events, MFM also fosters community cohesiveness that accompanies wonderful music recitals and concerts in pleasant venues. Most of this is accomplished through a network of volunteer docents and donors, a network that is difficult, at best, to replicate in other non-profit groups that provide arts education.