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.
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.
See more MUSE in action in this video!
“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
CONCERT ENSEMBLE DATES
Come see the MUSE ensembles in action! To secure a seat, please call Beth Vandervennet, Education Coordinator, at (510) 274-6362 or email her through the Contact Us page!
2017-2018 concert dates
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Franklin Elementary Auditorium
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
MUSE VIVO & MUSE Orchestra
Oakland High School Auditorium
Friday, March 23rd
Paramount Theater Grand Lobby
Friday, March 23rd
MUSE VIVO side by side with Oakland Symphony
Paramount Theater Mainstage
Tuesday, May 1st
Spring String Festival: MUSE Orchestra and OUSD Beginner Strings
Roosevelt Middle School Auditorium
Saturday, May 26th
12 noon Concert
Fairyland, Aesop’s Theatre
For more information, please contact Beth Vandervennet at
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF MUSE
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.
The MUSE after-school program has four components: After-School Piano offers younger students weekly piano lessons introducing them to performance, notation, and music theory over 28 weeks during the school year. 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.
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.
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 “
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.”
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.
Young People’s Concerts and Young Artist Competition
The MUSE Program also offers free Young People’s Concerts, and holds a semi-annual Young Artist Competition open to all young musicians who play a symphony instrument in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Click on the links to find out more about these programs.