Michael Morgan Conducting MUSE
The Symphony’s MUSE Program is a multi-component music education and enrichment initiative that serves young people at public schools and community sites throughout Oakland. By providing these programs free to participants, the Symphony ensures that each year, 16,000 young people have access to a variety of music education and enrichment activities, regardless of their economic situation.

Playground Pop-Up

Classical KDFC rolls out the new Playground Pop-Up concert series. The first two events in this innovative program feature top-notch performers from the Oakland Symphony in the informal setting of a public elementary school playground.

Latest MUSE in action video!

MUSE impacts people throughout Oakland.   Here you will hear from Michael Morgan,  Oakland Unified School Districts teachers, a student and his parent to witness how the music making of MUSE influences our community.


In the video above, the kids themselves explain how MUSE has changed their lives! From providing new experiences and challenging them to reach outside the box, turns out our students love their instruments “more than recess”! If you love MUSE, show your support today.

“The MUSE program is a lifeline in difficult times. It’s not just a token – it’s keeping the music program afloat in Oakland. It’s the tipping point between success and failure.”
~Ted Allen, former Instrumental Director, Skyline HS


Come see the MUSE ensembles in action! To secure a seat, please contact Beth Vandervennet, Lead Teaching Artist at bvandervennet@oaklandsymphony.org


Wednesday, December 18, 2019
2:00 pm
Franklin Elementary School

Friday, March 20, 2020 CANCELLED
7:00 pm
Paramount Theatre Lobby

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 CANCELLED
7:00 pm
Oakland High-school Auditorium

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 CANCELLED
7:00 pm
Roosevelt Middle School

Saturday, May 23, 2020 CANCELLED
12:00 pm
Children’s Fairyland



To inspire children and young people from primarily low income families to achieve success in music, and experience unity and cultural awareness through music.


To help young people develop a positive view of themselves as capable and contributing members of society through creative expression in music.


To provide a continuous and sequential instrumental music instructional program that supports and adheres to the Content Standards for Music of the California State Department of Education.


The goals of the MUSE program are achieved through the following components. They make up our MUSE Pathway, designed to foster every child’s interest in music and to serve as a resource to them throughout their childhood and adolescence, teaching skills that go beyond music education and that they will use in all aspects of their lives, from their academic studies to their future careers.

In-School Mentor Program

Every year 1,300 students at 19 public schools in the Oakland Unified School District work with professional musician mentors from the Symphony as part of the In-School Mentor Program. Mentors lead small group coaching and private instruction to improve students’ technique, interpretation, ensemble skills, and repertoire comprehension. Over 400 students per year receive specialized instrumental instruction on a one‐on‐one basis in a school district where music teachers are each responsible for teaching classes of up to 60 students. Without the MUSE mentors, this individual attention wouldn’t be possible.

After-School Program

The MUSE after-school program has thee components: The MUSE Orchestra, open and free to all students in Oakland Public Elementary Schools, provides students with a weekly activity that encourages teamwork and provides a sense of accomplishment. The MUSE Orchestra teaches basic ensemble skills, such as intonation and rhythm, with the goal of providing students the experience of performing as part of an orchestra at several concerts throughout the school year.

MUSE Orchestra Registration


The MUSE VIVO Orchestra was launched in January 2013 for middle school students advancing out of the MUSE Orchestra. MUSE VIVO is open to Oakland students in grades 7 – 12 and provides a deeper level of music practice and performance. Sixteen to 20 practice sessions over the course of five months provide orchestral experience and instruction above and beyond their MUSE Orchestra training. The MUSE VIVO Orchestra performs in several concerts as an independent orchestra, as well as alongside the MUSE Orchestra.

MUSE VIVO Registration

The Practice Lab provides students from West Oakland with the opportunity to learn how to rehearse under the guidance of music teacher Alison Streich, Oakland Unified School District’s 2014-2015 “Teacher of the Year”. The program provides a regular place to rehearse in a group setting, which many students otherwise don’t have, and a structured practice schedule with sessions held every other week throughout the school year. Almost all of the students involved in the program advance to become members of Alison’s Oakland Spirit Orchestra, having gained constructive practice habits that impact many areas of their lives.

The aim of Oakland Spirit Orchestra is to uplift the spirits of the world through music and kindness. Oakland Spirit Orchestra’s music is their own unique mix of popular tunes, world music, classical favorites, and jazz. The young musicians are not only playing music, they are creating it by constructing their own arrangements, writing their own music, and learning to improvise!  Thanks to support from Oakland Symphony, the young musicians in Oakland Spirit Orchestra have the opportunity of private lessons, practice labs, and performance opportunities at no cost to families, the only fee to participate is effort and dedication.

Founder Alison Bailey Streich’s innovative approach to music education has been lauded a lifeline for Oakland’s young people and her young musicians are described as playing “with infectious joy.”

School Visits

Every year, students at schools throughout the East Bay receive visits from Maestro Michael Morgan, musicians from the Symphony, or members of the MUSE and MUSE VIVO orchestras to excite them about music and playing an instrument. Middle and high school students also participate in Master Classes to further their knowledge of music theory and ensemble performance, while younger students receive visits and mini performances from Symphony musicians, and attend concerts performed by their peers in the MUSE Orchestras. To request a school visit by Maestro Michael Morgan and/or Symphony musicians click here.