K-3 Music Education Winter Updates

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K-3 Music Education Winter Updates

Category : School Events

Hello Jensen Ranch parents (and fellow music lovers)!

Students in grades K-3 have been making and learning about music with docents from Music for Minors 2 (MFM2) since November. We sing, play simple instruments, and learn music fundamentals like keeping a beat and singing on pitch. We also explore the connection between music and social studies, mathematics, science, and language arts to better understand our world. (Details by grade at the end of this message.)


Why Music Education?

Research has unequivocally shown that the study of music has these benefits and many more:

  1. Helps develop language and reasoning skills
  2. Helps mastery of memorization and pattern recognition skills and spatial intelligence
  3. Promotes the desire to improve work through practice and discipline
  4. Builds coordination and self-regulation
  5. Provides a sense of achievement, builds self-confidence, and helps kids conquer fear and take risks
  6. Builds imagination, intellectual curiosity, and creative thinking
  7. Helps students learn in other academic subjects and stay engaged with school generally
  8. Correlates with better grades in high school and higher SAT scores

How the Music Program at Jensen Ranch Operates

The Jensen Ranch PTA contracts nonprofit Music for Minors 2 each year to provide music education to our K-3 students because the district does not include music ed for these grades. Grade 4 and 5 students are offered music ed through the district. MFM2 serves more than 5,000 children in Fremont, Newark, and Castro Valley by training volunteer teachers (docents) and supplying them with resources and materials. MFM2 subsidizes the cost to the schools so that more kids can receive music education.


How You Can Help Support Your Student and Music Education at Jensen

  1. Ask your student about music class — What songs do you like? What did you learn in music this week? Would you like to teach me something about music?
  2. Let the district know that the arts are important – attend the community input meeting March 6, 5:30-7pm. Your opinion matters! The district will listen if we speak as a group. Castro Valley Unified is conducting community input meetings on theirLocal Control Accountability Plan, which is a statement of goals and plan for how the district budget will be used to achieve these goals. There areseveral dates and locations around CV if you can’t make the March 6meeting at Jensen.
  3. Contact me with your ideas. I would like to hear from all parents who care about arts education at Jensen. You don’t need to volunteer for anything! I just want to hear from you. Contact me any time.     erin.milnes@comcast.net      415.559.1157
  4. Support Music for Minors 2 by attending the concert for familiesFebruary 11 (details next).


Music for Minors 2 Family Concert Feb 11 – Don’t miss it!

On Saturday, February 11, MFM2 presents internationally known children’s singer/songwriter Charlotte Diamond with the Music for Minors 2 Kids Choir in a benefit show for the whole family. Your kids have been singing her songs, like “Listen to the Water,” “Spider’s Web,” and “Four Hugs a Day,” since kindergarten.


This concert is the primary fundraiser for MFM2, which uses the money for instruments, equipment, music recordings, and all the other resources needed to provide high-quality music education at a subsidized rate. You can see a great show while supporting music ed at Jensen!


Saturday, February 11, 2017, at 2pm
Harbor Light, 4760 Thornton Ave, Fremont
Tickets: $12 advance, $14 door




Jensen Ranch K-3 Music Update by Grade

The Jensen kindergarteners are having fun singing, dancing, jumping, and playing weekly. Some fave songs are “Candy Man, Salty Dog” and “My Name Is Joe.” We have been singing many Charlotte Diamond songs too. We recently went deeper into beat and rhythm, which was fun.

Docent: Oren Jaffe, father of Jonah  ojaffe@gmail.com


Grade 1 classes are singing and signing songs and learning about beat and rhythm. We recently introduced bells and maracas to help explore beat and rhythm further. The students remember movements and sign language that accompany songs they learned in kindergarten, such as “See You Later, Alligator.”

Docent: Elaine Wong Eakin, community member   elainewongsw@gmail.com


In Grade 2, we have been exploring basic elements of music like beat and melody. We are about to learn the difference between singing and scatting through the really fun song “I Like to Sing!” I guarantee you’ll be hearing this song around the house in coming weeks.

Docent: Shane Sharkey, community member (owner, Castro Valley School of Music and Big Toe Audio studio)  shane@bigtoeaudio.com


Grade 3 classes have been working hard on mastering music elements, including beat, rhythm, pitch, dynamics, and tempo. We are continuing the rhythm notation basics begun in 2d grade and starting pitch notation. In honor of MLK Day, we learned and sang “This Little Light of Mine” and talked about who he was and what the little light might be.

Docent: Erin Milnes, mom of Duncan  erin.milnes@comcast.net




Music for Minors 2, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit volunteer organization
“Nurturing the love and literacy of music in children’s classrooms and lives since 1988.”

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